Excellent night of European & SPANISH FOOTBALL with EUROPA LEAGUE action throughout the continent & three Spanish Clubs in action with very positive results. Here is a brief run down of the 1º leg matches with Spanish participation, with scorers & the final results.

At.Madrid - Besiktas

ATLETICO DE MADRID defeated Turkish Club BESIKTAS 3 - 1 in a good game from the Spaniards that allowed the Turks out alive to live for a 2º leg return game that gives them  some hope. The first half was all Atletico, it was basically an exhibition & all three goals were scored in the first 45 minutes with SALVIO scoring twice ( 24th & 27th min) & ADRIAN with a "gem" in the 36th min.

However, Atletico could not finish off Besiktas & the Turks resurrected admirably in the second half to see ex-Atletico player SIMAO score a nice away goal in the 53rd min that allows Besiktas to think about attempting  to get a positive result in Istanbul. 

Fernando Llorente scores for Bilbao

MANCHESTER UNITED hosted ATHLETIC CLUB BILBAO & lost 2 - 3 in an exciting game that gave the "Basque" Club a very deserved win. The young Bilbao team has lifted the eyebrows of many local English Football observers tonight with the excellent performances & talents of the  young Spanish Internationals like Herrera, Muniain, De Marcos...Susaeta, & not to mention the fully capped Internationals like Llorente & Martinez. I would bet that some big English Clubs maybe putting new Bilbao player names onto their agendas for next season. In a nutshell, Bilbao put in a "pearler" of a match, they were outstanding tonight.

Manchester started well with counter-attacking Football that was putting out of position a nervous & at times over-whelmed Bilbao team. In fact, ROONEY put the home side ahead first in the 22nd min when Bilbao goalie stopped a Chicharito shot. From here Bilbao lifted, settled & began playing their touch Football while always looking for the dangerous Llorente upfront. This tactic paid off as a cross found FERNANDO LLORENTE in the 41st min to equalize with his trademark header.

The second half was dominated by Bilbao with sporadic attempts by Manchester, which made local & Spanish International goalie ( & Best man for his team ) DAVID DE GEA make some vital saves to stop the bleeding of goal opportunities. The English team was finally overwhelmed in the 71st min when DE MARCOS scored & again in the 89th min when MUNIAIN raced into the goal area to score his teams third.

Luckly for Manchester, unlucky for Bilbao, a penalty was called in the 91st min for hand-ball that ROONEY scored to keep the English hopes alive for the return match. An unfortunate blemish to a wonderful night of Football for Bilbao which sets it all up here in Bilbao for the return clash. A game not to be missed!

Soldado for Valencia CF

VALENCIA CF defeated Dutch Club PSV EINDHOVEN 4 - 2 with a powering & dominated game that loosened up towards the end & allowed the visitors to redeem themselves. It was practically 80 mins of the "Valencia steam-roller" in action with goals from VICTOR RUIZ in the 10th min, two from ROBERTO SOLDADO ( 12th min & 43rd min with penalty) & PIATTI in the 56th min.

But Valencia relaxed somewhat & allowed PSV to play,  & this with some defensive errors, allowed the Dutch to score two valuable away goals. Their first via TOIVONEN in the 82nd min & their second via WIJNALDUM in the 89th min.

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