Spanish trio reach semis
BERNE - Reuters
Athletic Bilbao coach Bielsa (L) instructs a player during his team’s Schalke game. AP photoAthletic Bilbao and Atletico Madrid overcame German opposition to reach the Europa League semifinals on April 5 while fellow Spaniards Valencia joined them by demolishing AZ Alkmaar.
Sporting completed an all-Iberian lineup by knocking out Metalist Kharkiv, who missed a penalty in a 1-1 draw on a aggregate.
Athletic, Manchester United’s conquerors in the previous round, played more of the entertaining football which is a hallmark of their eccentric coach Marcelo Bielsa as it drew 2-2 at home to Schalke 04 to qualify 6-4 on aggregate.
Atletico Madrid won 2-1 at Hanover 96 with an 87th minute winner from Radamel Falcao to complete a 4-2 aggregate win.
Adil Rami scored two goals to set Valencia on the way to a 4-0 win over AZ to win 5-2 on aggregate.