- UEFA Europa League
- 9 May 2012, 7:45pm
- National Arena
|Atletico Madrid||v||Athletic Bilbao|
90 mins:FULL TIME: MADRID 3-0 BILBAO. There it is! Jubilation for Atletico Madrid and their fans as the final whistle blows. ATLETICO MADRID HAVE WON THE EUROPA LEAGUE.
90 mins:A final change for Atletico with Dominguez replacing Turan.
90 mins:Off the bar! One last hurrah from Bilbao as Ibai strides forward and cannons a thunderous drive off the woodwork.
90 mins:Another Atletico change with Diego replaced by Koke.
88 mins:A late change for Madrid with Salvio replacing Adrian.
87 mins:Poor Iker Muniain was in floods of tears as Madrid celebrated Diego's goal as Bilbao hearts were broken.
85 mins:GOAL: MADRID 3-0 BILBAO. Game over! DIEGO picks it up and dirves at Amorebieta before firing a low left footed shot into the corner. They know it's there's now.
83 mins:Marcelo Bielsa is cutting a very frustrated figure on the sidelines as his team continue to pose questions but Madrid have all the answers.
80 mins:So close! Atletico break and it is Falcao all on his own as he cuts inside Martinez but sees his shot come back off the post.
79 mins:How did that stay out? Llorente's snap shot from six yards out is blocked before each of Toquero, Perez and Muniain see shots blocked in a huge scramble but Madrid survive.
78 mins:Arda Turan works himself into a superb position but he goes for an audacious chip that goes straight into the arms of Iraizoz.
77 mins:Susaeta is the latest to go close as his left footed snap shot deflects narrowly wide off a sprawling Miranda.
75 mins:Adrian is sliced down just outside the box and Perez is booked for the challenge.
74 mins:Ibai produces some superb skill to evade three defenders on the left and when his shot is parried out by Courtois it is fired over by De Marcos.
71 mins:Two good chances in as many seconds as Llorente somehow misses Iraola's cross but it drops out for Ibai whose volley flashes just over.
69 mins:Bilbao just cannot get any momentum in the final third as Madrid continue to pick off their attempted passes through the centre.
66 mins:A booking now for Amorebieta for a late tackle on Falcao.
65 mins:A real chance for Adrian to finish it off as the winger cuts inside De Marcos but bends a shot wide.
63 mins:A final change now for Bilbao with Ander Herrera replaced by Gaizka Toquero.
61 mins:Another glimmer for Bilbao but the ball hits Llorente's shins before bobbling to safety.
60 mins:Courtois has to be alert to deny Inigo Perez's free-kick that starts as a cross but continues to bend wickedly in the air and forces the Belgian keeper into a save.
58 mins:A chance for Herrera as Madrid fail to clear a corner but the midfield man snatches at it and it flies well over the bar.
55 mins:Iraizoz is called into action by Gabi's effort after the captain is fed by Falcao who lost Martinez with a lovely turn on halfway.
52 mins:Another chance for Madrid to end the game as a contest as Suarez's long ball finds Diego but he only finds the side netting.
50 mins:A lovely cross from Turan is inches away from the lively Falcao at the far post. A third goal would finish Bilbao off.
47 mins:Immediately Bilbao on the attack and only a superb intervention from Mirando stops Muniain finding De Marcos at the far post with an open goal.
46 mins:The second half is underway. Can Bilbao mount a comeback?
46 mins:A double change for Bilbao at the break with Inigo Perez and Ibai Gomez on for Iturraspe and Aurtenetxe.
45 mins:HALF TIME: ATLETICO MADRID 2-0 ATHLETIC BILBAO. A faultless first half display from Madrid as their man man puts them in control of the final.
45 mins:An incisive pass from Diego sees Falcao one on one with Amorebieta but this time his shot curls over the bar.
43 mins:Filipe Luis is striding forward from the back now to join in the attacks as Atletico continue to grow in confidence.
41 mins:Atletico are playing some lovely stuff now and the diminuitive Falcao is involved in everything as the Madrid side go in search of a third.
39 mins:The greater experience of this Atletico Madrid side has shone through so far as they manage to not allow the tension of the occasion to affect them.
36 mins:Two chances, two goals for Falcao who has been at his clinical best tonight. How long before even bigger clubs take more than a passing interest in him?
34 mins:GOAL: MADRID 2-0 BILBAO. World class! Amorebieta is caught on the ball and Turan takes advantage to slide in FALCAO who loses two with a magical turn before firing home.
32 mins:Bilbao have been a little too eager in the final third so far and can't quite get the final ball right.
29 mins:End to end stuff in Romania with both sides going all out for goals, however the defenders are keeping the exciting attacking talent on show, at bay.
26 mins:Falcao is the second into the book for a suspect looking tackle on Iturraspe.
24 mins:Muniain robs the ball in the middle of the field and drives a shot towards goal that Courtois has to get across quickly to save.
22 mins:First booking of the game now as Herrera chops down Diego as Atletico break.
20 mins:Courtois has something to think about as Llorente meets Susaeta's near post cross but the connection is poor and it goes wide.
18 mins:Bilbao are starting to find their feet at last and only a poor first touch from Susaeta stops the winger finding himself in on goal.
15 mins:Muniain has his first chance to open up the defence and he almost finds the clever run of Llorente but Godin mops up superbly.
12 mins:A tough first chance for Llorente as he loses Godin but he is backing away from goal and can't head on target.
10 mins:You have to say that Atletico probably deserve to be ahead after a very assured start.
7 mins:GOAL: ATLETICO MADRID 1-0 ATHLETIC BILBAO. Stunning! FALCAO creates half a yard for himself before bending in a superb left footed shot that leaves Iraizoz grasping at thin air.
5 mins:Bilbao have been a little nervy so far but they are just starting to settle down a touch.
2 mins:First chance! Suarez delivers a cross to the near post and Adrian arrives but can only glance the header wide.
1 mins:The game is finally underway.
The atmosphere inside the stadium is superb as both sets of fan try to outcheer one another. It's electrifying!
Athletic Bilbao: Iraizoz, Iraola, Javi Martinez, Amorebieta, Aurtenetxe, Ander Herrera, Iturraspe, De Marcos, Susaeta, Llorente, Muniain.
Atletico Madrid: Courtois, Juanfran, Godin, Miranda, Filipe Luis, Mario Suarez, Gabi, Diego, Adrian, Turan, Falcao.
Athletic Bilbao have quickly become many people's favourite side to watch with their energy and high tempo football that has seen Fernando Llorente, Javi Martinez and Iker Muniain become household names around Europe.
Atletico Madrid have free-scoring Falcao in attack to lead the line and he will be a massive threat tonight. The Colombian is third top scorer in La Liga this season, behind Ronaldo and Messi.
Welcome to Bucharest for the 2012 Europa League Final as Spain invades Romania for Atletico Madrid versus Athletic Bilbao.
- UEFA Europa League
- 9 May 2012, 7:45pm
- National Arena
|Atletico Madrid||v||Athletic Bilbao|
Radamel Falcao scored twice as Atletico Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao 3-0 to win the Europa League in Bucharest on Wednesday night.
The Colombia striker produced two moments of magic in the first half before Diego's late goal put the seal on Atletico's second title in three years.
Diego Simeone's side were vastly superior in their eagerly awaited all-Spanish final against Bilbao as Marcelo Bielsa's men froze on the big occasion.
Falcao's 11th and 12th goals of the tournament not only earned him the top scorer prize ahead of Schalke's Klaas Jan Huntelaar but took his all-time record in the competition to 29 in 29 games.
Bilbao had come into the tournament through the qualifying round, after they drew their home leg 0-0 with Trabzonspor but were spared a tricky return clash in Turkey after their opponents were promoted to the Champions League to replace Fenerbahce, withdrawn by the Turkish FA amid a match-fixing investigation.
They have thrilled and delighted onlookers since, never more so than in their win over Manchester United, but never truly got going tonight as their big names disappointed.
Arda Turan's cross provided the first Atletico chance for Adrian Lopez, who glanced his header across the face of goal.
Diego was unable to make clean contact after another high-tempo move but Atletico got their reward in the seventh minute.
Falcao bided his time on the ball in the right of the penalty area, worked a yard of space and curled a magnificent left-footed effort inside the far post.
Fernando Llorente headed Ander Herrera's free-kick wide, while being manhandled by Diego Godin, and was then too early on Markel Susaeta's cross and scuffed his volley wide.
Herrera was perhaps lucky only to be booked after hacking down Diego two-footed just outside the box.
Iker Muniain's long-range shot at the other end, having been gifted possession, was well saved by on-loan Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
But Falcao doubled Atletico's lead in the 34th minute. Fernando Amorebieta dwelt terribly on the ball and lost possession on the edge of the box and, from Arda's cutback, Falcao brilliantly turned Jon Aurtenetxe and lashed home.
He then curled a right-foot effort high over the bar as half-time brought welcome respite for Bilbao.
Bielsa made a double-change at half-time, Ibai Gomez and Inigo Perez replacing Iturraspe and Aurtenetxe.
And his side started more brightly, Andoni Iraola playing in Muniain whose cross was cleared behind by Joao Miranda. Javi Martinez headed Ibai's corner over.
Diego fired just wide of Gorka Iraizoz's near post and a deflection robbed Gabi Fernandez's shot of its pace.
Perez's free-kick, swung in from 40 yards, almost caught out Courtois, who had to tip the ball around the post and Llorente was crowded out after failing to control the ball in the Atletico box.
Adrian curled wide before Amorebieta was booked for a nasty challenge on Falcao.
Miranda awkwardly diverted Ibai's cross behind but the corner came to nothing. Iraola's cross then narrowly eluded Llorente before Ibai hammered a follow-up volley just over.
Ibai brilliantly worked his way into the box but his cross was palmed away by Courtois and De Marcos spooned the rebound over.
Perez was booked for cynically chopping down Adrian and Gabi smashed a poor free-kick into the wall.
Susaeta's fierce left-foot drive deflected wide off Miranda and at the other end, Arda wasted some neat interplay with an overly audacious chip which Iraizoz easily fielded.
Coutois preserved Atletico's two-goal margin once more, saving from Susaeta after substitute Gaizka Toquero's shot was blocked by a defender.
Falcao danced past Javi Martinez but Amorebieta got back to deflect his shot on to the post.
Ibai took an air-shot at Toquero's cross before Diego put the game to bed.
The Brazilian took on Toquero and Amorebieta before firing low across Iraizoz. As Atletico celebrated, their opponents' despair was summed up by the sight of Muniain sprawled full-length on the ground in tears.
Ibai's long-range drive skimmed the crossbar in the closing seconds but there was no way back for Athletic.