CA Osasuna took a major step towards the UEFA Cup semi-finals after recording a famous 3-0 win at Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Playing in their first European quarter-final, the Spanish team claimed a first-minute lead through Javier Cuéllar and after containing their hosts, then killed them off with two goals in quick succession from David López and substitute Pierre Webó in the closing stages.
The Bundesliga side suffered the worst possible start at a packed BayArena as a David López corner found Cuéllar and the defender beat René Adler with a powerful header to give Osasuna the advantage only seconds into the match. Leverkusen sought an immediate reply as Stefan Kiessling broke down the right wing but Cuéllar was first to his cross with Andriy Voronin lurking just behind.
The visitors continued to look the more dangerous team and Cuéllar could have doubled their lead from yet another corner but nodded centimetres wide. Shortly afterwards David López volleyed a Juanfran centre straight at Leverkusen defender Karim Haggui and Roberto Soldado then spurned an excellent opportunity, failing to beat Adler with a header from Juanfran's delivery.
Barbarez heads wide
Leverkusen gradually found their feet and started creating openings at the other end. However, neither Bernd Schneider nor Sergej Barbarez managed to trouble goalkeeper Ricardo López and Kiessling then fired over the bar from the edge of the box. The hosts' best chance of the first period fell to Barbarez ten minutes from the interval, the forward launching himself at Voronin's cross from the left and directing his header just wide of the post.
Despite the half-time introduction of Paul Freier in place of Kiessling on the right, Leverkusen continued to struggle to break down the well-organised visiting defence. They did threaten an equaliser moments before the hour when Voronin shook off a defender and found Juan inside the area but the Brazilian international failed to beat Ricardo López. Shortly afterwards Marko Babić freed up Barbarez with a perfect centre but once again the goalkeeper rescued Osasuna.
With 19 minutes remaining, Osasuna profited from one of their few opportunities of the second half to enhance their advantage. Collecting a cross with his back to goal, Savo Milošević successfully held off Simon Rolfes before turning the ball to David López who blasted it high past Adler. Two minutes later substitute Webó put the semi-finals within touching distance for the Pamplona club by chipping the ball over Adler with his first touch. Leverkusen, for all their earlier possession, looked shellshocked and only Milošević's profligacy spared them further punishment.