The official website for European football

Athletic leave it late as Llorente sets up final date

Published: Thursday 26 April 2012, 23.12CET
Athletic Club 3-1 Sporting Clube de Portugal (agg: 4-3)
Sporting finally buckled under the pressure as Fernando Llorente's 88th-minute strike took Athletic through to their second UEFA final.
by Graham Hunter
from San Mamés

This content is streamed in such a way that it is protected and available only in a Flash format. Your device seems not to be compatible with our Flash video player.

Match statistics

AthleticSporting

Goals scored3
 
1
Attempts on target8
 
6
Attempts off target2
 
3
Corners11
 
6
Offsides2
 
0
Fouls committed15
 
19
Yellow cards2
 
3
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Thursday 26 April 2012, 23.12CET

Athletic leave it late as Llorente sets up final date

Athletic Club 3-1 Sporting Clube de Portugal (agg: 4-3)
Sporting finally buckled under the pressure as Fernando Llorente's 88th-minute strike took Athletic through to their second UEFA final.

Athletic Club defeated Sporting Clube de Portugal 4-3 on aggregate in an epic semi-final at the San Mamés to reach their second final in UEFA competition – 35 years after the first.

Leading 2-1 on the night thanks to goals from Markel Susaeta and Ibai Gómez either side of Ricky van Wolfswinkel's crisp strike, extra time loomed. But with two minutes left Gómez's left-footed drive across goal was poked in by Fernando Llorente's outstretched right boot, the ball going in off Rui Patrício's right-hand post, to set up an all-Spanish UEFA Europa League final against Club Atlético de Madrid in Bucharest on 9 May.

Like the UEFA Champions League semi-finals over the previous 48 hours, this thrilling match was packed with creative football. Initially Gómez looked like he wanted to win it on his own. He set up Iker Muniain for a chance well blocked by André Martins and forced a top save from Patrício, yet the 17th-minute breakthrough was a slick team affair.

Ander Herrera worked ferociously to win possession and feed Muniain. The cross was tempting for Llorente but, instead, he altered his stance, chested it down and allowed Susaeta to crack in with his left foot. Sporting's 2-1 first-leg lead had evaporated; they fought fire with fire, though, as Anderson Polga's glancing header brought the first of many fine saves at both ends.

Before mayhem erupted before the break, Athletic mimicked the flaw which brought the demise of FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF earlier this week – missing chances. Andoni Iraola's cross to Gómez was scorned instead of buried and Llorente mis-hit a volley which still needed a good stop from Patrício.

Sporting duly punished the profligacy on 44 minutes as Martins pounced on Gorka Iraizoz's unconvincing clearance and lashed in a shot from the loose ball. It broke to Van Wolfswinkel and the Dutchman finished clinically. By half-time the aggregate scores were dead level as Llorente produced a world-class turn and flick and Gómez darted in to clip past Patrício.

It was thrilling and the second half no less so. Patrício needed the save of the match to stop Susaeta's pile-driver and within moments of each other Javi Martínez knocked a header off the far post and, at the other end, Emiliano Insúa matched the feat with a deflected drive. Extra time beckoned; then came Llorente's decisive intervention, taking Athletic through to their first European showpiece since losing on away goals to Juventus in the 1976/77 UEFA Cup.

Last updated: 27/11/12 6.39CET

Related information

Player profiles
  • SSI Err
  • SSI Err
  • SSI Err
  • SSI Err
  • SSI Err
Member associations
  • SSI Err
  • SSI Err
Team profiles
  • SSI Err
  • SSI Err
Related match
  • SSI Err

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2012/matches/round=2000276/match=2007479/postmatch/report/index.html#llorente+takes+athletic+through

Lineups

athletic

Athletic

sporting

Sporting

1
Gorka IraizozGorka Iraizoz (GK)
1
Rui PatrícioRui Patrício (GK)
3
AurtenetxeJon Aurtenetxe
4
PolgaAnderson Polga (C)
5
AmorebietaFernando Amorebieta
Yellow Card54
8
SchaarsStijn Schaars
8
IturraspeAnder Iturraspe
9
Van WolfswinkelRicky van Wolfswinkel
Yellow Card10
Goal44
9
LlorenteFernando Llorente
Goal88
11
CapelDiego Capel
14
SusaetaMarkel Susaeta
Goal17
14
FernándezMatías Fernández
Substitution46
15
IraolaAndoni Iraola (C)
25
PereirinhaBruno Pereirinha
Substitution63
19
MuniainIker Muniain
Substitution90
28
André MartinsAndré Martins
Substitution83
21
Ander HerreraAnder Herrera
Substitution90+4
47
João PereiraJoão Pereira
24
Javi MartínezJavi Martínez
48
InsuaEmiliano Insua
28
Ibai GómezIbai Gómez
Goal45+1
Yellow Card76
Substitution90+3
93
XandãoXandão
Yellow Card90+4

Substitutes

13
RaúlRaúl (GK)
16
TiagoTiago (GK)
2
ToqueroGaizka Toquero
Substitution90+3
3
Daniel CarriçoDaniel Carriço
Substitution46
Yellow Card59
6
San JoséMikel San José
5
OnyewuOguchi Onyewu
7
David LópezDavid López
6
EvaldoEvaldo
11
GabilondoIgor Gabilondo
17
Jeffren SuárezJeffren Suárez
Substitution63
17
Íñigo PérezÍñigo Pérez
Substitution90+4
18
CarrilloAndre Carrillo
Substitution83
23
EkizaBorja Ekiza
Substitution90
33
Diego RubioDiego Rubio

Coach

Marcelo Bielsa (ARG) Ricardo Sá Pinto (POR)

Referee

Martin Atkinson (ENG)

Assistant referees

Michael Mullarkey (ENG), Stephen Child (ENG)

Fourth official

Mike Dean (ENG)

Additional assistant referees

Mark Clattenburg (ENG), Michael Jones (ENG)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE word, the UEFA Europa League logo and the UEFA Europa League trophy are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.