Atl Madrid v Athletic Bilbao
Falcao 7′, 34′ Diego 85′
- FT 90 +4
- HT 2-0
A brilliant double from Radamel Falcao and a bustling performance from the rest of Atletico Madrid undid Athletic Bilbao in the Europa League final.
The Colombian, who scored the only goal in last year's final for Porto, swerved home a superb effort before a smart turn and shot doubled the lead.
Bilbao pressed forward after the break with Markel Susaeta twice going close.
But Madrid looked just as dangerous on the counter and Diego darted through a ragged Bilbao defence to seal victory.
Bilbao's passing patterns mesmorised Manchester United in the last 16 of the competition, but it was they who were made to look dazed in the final by Madrid's high tempo and slick raids forward.
Routes to the final post groups
|A Madrid||Round||A Bilbao|
4-1 (agg) v Lazio
2-2 (agg - away goals) v Loc Moscow
6-1 (agg) v Besiktas
5-3 (agg) v Man Utd
4-2 (agg) v Hannover
6-4 (agg) v Schalke
5-2 (agg) v Valencia
4-3 (agg) v Sporting
The Basque side's supply lines were cut by the snapping tackles of Gabi and Mario Suarez in the first half and, before they had time to adjust, the excellent Falcao had taken the game almost out of sight.
On seven minutes Fernando Amorebieta was transfixed by the striker's stepover and could only watch as he stroked a sublime left-footed shot into the top corner.
The final had been billed by some as a battle between Falcao and opposite number Fernando Llorente, with metro stations in Bucharest temporarily renamed after the two strikers.
But Llorente was outshone throughout and squandered half-chances to level, heading wide when well placed before shanking a volley wide off his shin.
By contrast, Falcao's brilliance was matched with ruthless efficiency and he ensured Amorebieta paid the heaviest price for needlessly conceding possession on the edge of the box 11 minutes from the break.
Once Diego had whisked the ball back into the centre the 26-year-old controlled, sent a trio of Bilbao defenders skidding out of contention with a deft turn and hammered a finish past Gorka Iraizoz.
Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa introduced Inigo Perez and Ibai Gomez at half-time to try and breathe life into his flatlining side and was initially rewarded.
Did you know?
- Despite thier defeat, Athletic Bilbao are assured a place in the Europa League next season, as they will play Barcelona, who have already qualified for the Champions League, in the Copa del Rey final
- Atletico Madrid could play in the Champions League next season. They are two points off La Liga's fourth and final Champions League spot with one match remaining
Iker Muniain's low cross was only just cut out by Madrid's defence, before Javi Martinez headed over from the subsequent corner.
But just when Bilbao needed their talismanic striker to deliver, Llorente's out-of-sorts match continued as he failed to snap on to a loose ball in the six-yard box.
Bielsa's side piled forward as the clock ticked down, but they were restricted to snatched efforts and optimistic long-range attempts by an attentive Madrid rearguard.
Susaeta's deflected shot briefly theatened the Madrid goal before slamming into the advertising hoardings and the commanding Thibaut Courtois, on loan from Chelsea, blocked from the midfielder shortly after.
Madrid still looked the more incisive coming forward, though, and Falcao was within a post's width of his 36th goal of the season before Amorebieta was exposed once more as Diego dribbled past him to slot home a third.
Bilbao finally found a way past Courtois late on when Gomez crisp effort beat the keeper, but they were denied any scant consolation by the crossbar.
Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone: "Winning is always marvellous, but you enjoy it more as a player, because one is on the pitch, one can scream, run, do a lap of honour."
"When you are a coach you leave that sort of thing to the players
Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa: "I feel tremendously disappointed. I'm responsible for how my team played and we did not accomplish our goal.
"There was a stark difference between the teams. We played how Atletico wanted us to, allowing them to play their way in the process."
- 13 Courtois
- 02 Godin
- 06 Filipe
- 23 Miranda
- 04 Mario Suarez
- 11 Turan (Dominguez - 90' )
- 14 Fernandez Gabi
- 20 Juanfran
- 22 Diego (Jorge Koke - 90' )
- 07 Adrian (Eduardo Salvio - 88' )
- 09 Falcao Booked
- 25 Sergio Asenjo
- 03 Antonio Lopez
- 18 Dominguez
- 12 Paulo Assuncao
- 19 Jorge Koke
- 08 Eduardo Salvio
- 41 Martin
- 01 Iraizoz
- 03 Aurtenetxe (Ibai - 46' )
- 05 Amorebieta Booked
- 15 Iraola
- 08 Iturraspe (Perez - 46' Booked )
- 14 Susaeta Booked
- 21 Herrera Ander Booked (Toquero Pinedo - 63' )
- 24 Javi Martinez
- 09 Llorente
- 10 De Marcos
- 19 Muniain
- 13 Raul
- 06 San Jose Dominguez
- 23 Ekiza
- 02 Toquero Pinedo
- 11 Gabilondo
- 17 Perez
- 28 Ibai
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.90:00 +2:24 Substitution
Substitution (Atletico Madrid) makes a substitution, with Alvaro Dominguez coming on for Arda Turan.90:00 +2:04
Shot by Gomez Ibai.90:00 +0:45
Direct free kick taken by Thibaut Courtois.90:00 +0:45 Booking
Booking Markel Susaeta is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.90:00 +0:24
Markel Susaeta challenges Kasmirski Filipe Luis unfairly and gives away a free kick.89:11
Markel Susaeta restarts play with the free kick.89:11 Substitution
Substitution Jorge Koke comes on in place of Ribas Diego.89:11
Free kick awarded for a foul by Radamel Falcao on Andoni Iraola.87:01 Substitution
Substitution Lopez Adrian goes off and Eduardo Salvio comes on.84:23 Goal scored
Goal! - Ribas Diego - Atl Madrid 3 - 0 Ath Bilbao Ribas Diego scores a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Atletico Madrid 3-0 Athletic Bilbao.79:17
Shot by Radamel Falcao from inside the area hits the post.78:24
Markel Susaeta takes a shot. Fantastic save by Thibaut Courtois.77:54
Shot by Arda Turan from 18 yards. Gorka Iraizoz makes a save.76:20
Markel Susaeta produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the target. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Gomez Ibai from the left by-line, save by Thibaut Courtois.74:15
Shot comes in from Fernandez Gabi from the free kick.74:15 Booking
Booking Caution for Soto Inigo Perez.73:52
Foul by Soto Inigo Perez on Lopez Adrian, free kick awarded.72:45
Shot from deep inside the area by Oscar De Marcos clears the crossbar.70:46
Radamel Falcao concedes a free kick for a foul on Fernando Amorebieta. Aguinaga Javi Martinez takes the direct free kick.
Shot on goal by Gomez Ibai from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.69:45
Markel Susaeta fouled by Torres Juanfran, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Markel Susaeta.68:06
Short corner taken by Gomez Ibai.66:19
Unfair challenge on Radamel Falcao by Aguinaga Javi Martinez results in a free kick. Free kick crossed by Ribas Diego.65:50
Mata Mario Suarez is penalised for a handball. Iker Muniain takes the free kick.63:34 Booking
Booking Fernando Amorebieta receives a yellow card for dissent.63:19
Lopez Adrian has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the target.62:22 Substitution
Substitution Aguera Ander Herrera leaves the field to be replaced by Gaizka Toquero.61:24
Kasmirski Filipe Luis fouled by Andoni Iraola, the ref awards a free kick. Diego Godin takes the direct free kick.60:53
Markel Susaeta is caught offside. Thibaut Courtois restarts play with the free kick.58:09
Fernandez Gabi challenges Aguera Ander Herrera unfairly and gives away a free kick. Soto Inigo Perez has a direct shot on goal from the free kick, Thibaut Courtois makes a save. Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Gomez Ibai.57:20
Shot from deep inside the area by Aguera Ander Herrera clears the crossbar.56:31
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Gomez Ibai from the right by-line, Arda Turan manages to make a clearance. Corner taken by Gomez Ibai from the right by-line.55:22
Fernandez Gabi challenges Aguera Ander Herrera unfairly and gives away a free kick. Aguera Ander Herrera takes the free kick.54:17
Fernandez Gabi takes a shot. Gorka Iraizoz makes a save.53:15
Unfair challenge on Iker Muniain by Mata Mario Suarez results in a free kick. Iker Muniain takes the direct free kick.52:59
Radamel Falcao challenges Fernando Amorebieta unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Fernando Amorebieta.52:04
The offside flag is raised against Lopez Adrian. Gorka Iraizoz restarts play with the free kick.50:20
Fernando Amorebieta gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Radamel Falcao. Joao Miranda takes the free kick.47:02
The offside flag is raised against Radamel Falcao. Indirect free kick taken by Aguinaga Javi Martinez.45:30
Outswinging corner taken by Gomez Ibai, Aguinaga Javi Martinez produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.45:01
The game restarts for the second half.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Jon Aurtenetxe goes off and Gomez Ibai comes on.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Soto Inigo Perez is brought on as a substitute for Ander Iturraspe.45:00 +2:37 Half time
Half Time The first half comes to an end.45:00 +1:46
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ribas Diego by Ander Iturraspe. Direct free kick taken by Fernandez Gabi.45:00 +0:47
Outswinging corner taken by Markel Susaeta.44:56
Radamel Falcao produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that clears the bar.42:59
Corner taken right-footed by Ribas Diego, free kick awarded for a foul by Diego Godin on Gorka Iraizoz. Direct free kick taken by Gorka Iraizoz.42:05
Foul by Markel Susaeta on Kasmirski Filipe Luis, free kick awarded. Ribas Diego takes the direct free kick.41:06
Corner taken by Ribas Diego from the right by-line, Radamel Falcao challenges Fernando Amorebieta unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Gorka Iraizoz.38:39
The official flags Fernando Llorente offside. Thibaut Courtois restarts play with the free kick.36:55
Free kick awarded for a foul by Arda Turan on Iker Muniain. Free kick taken by Oscar De Marcos.36:27
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ander Iturraspe by Ribas Diego. Direct free kick taken by Ander Iturraspe.35:52
Aguera Ander Herrera fouled by Fernandez Gabi, the ref awards a free kick. Gorka Iraizoz takes the free kick.33:11
The assist for the goal came from Arda Turan.33:11 Goal scored
Goal! - Radamel Falcao - Atl Madrid 2 - 0 Ath Bilbao Radamel Falcao grabs a goal from inside the area to the top left corner of the goal. Atletico Madrid 2-0 Athletic Bilbao.32:15
Aguinaga Javi Martinez gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Torres Juanfran. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Ribas Diego.31:43
Foul by Fernandez Gabi on Aguera Ander Herrera, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Ander Iturraspe.30:33
Unfair challenge on Iker Muniain by Fernandez Gabi results in a free kick. Iker Muniain restarts play with the free kick.29:34
Foul by Ribas Diego on Oscar De Marcos, free kick awarded. Oscar De Marcos takes the direct free kick.26:01
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Fernando Amorebieta by Radamel Falcao. Direct free kick taken by Fernando Amorebieta.25:18
Ander Iturraspe restarts play with the free kick.25:18 Booking
Booking Radamel Falcao booked.25:07
Free kick awarded for a foul by Radamel Falcao on Ander Iturraspe.23:20
Iker Muniain takes a shot. Save by Thibaut Courtois.21:22
Strike comes in from Ribas Diego from the free kick. Corner taken right-footed by Ribas Diego from the left by-line, save made by Gorka Iraizoz.21:22 Booking
Booking Aguera Ander Herrera goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.21:16
Foul by Aguera Ander Herrera on Ribas Diego, free kick awarded.18:17
Fernando Llorente has an effort at goal from close range which goes wide right of the goal.17:04
Ander Iturraspe concedes a free kick for a foul on Ribas Diego. Ribas Diego takes the free kick.14:25
Corner from the left by-line taken by Markel Susaeta, clearance made by Diego Godin.12:45
Handball by Aguinaga Javi Martinez. Diego Godin takes the free kick.11:41
Unfair challenge on Aguera Ander Herrera by Mata Mario Suarez results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Aguera Ander Herrera.11:09
Free kick awarded for a foul by Fernando Llorente on Joao Miranda. Free kick taken by Thibaut Courtois.9:16
Foul by Joao Miranda on Fernando Llorente, free kick awarded. Aguera Ander Herrera delivers the ball, Headed effort from inside the box by Fernando Llorente misses to the right of the target.8:31
The referee blows for offside against Fernando Llorente. Joao Miranda takes the free kick.8:12
Aguinaga Javi Martinez fouled by Arda Turan, the ref awards a free kick. Aguinaga Javi Martinez takes the free kick.6:01
The assist for the goal came from Ribas Diego.6:01 Goal scored
Goal! - Radamel Falcao - Atl Madrid 1 - 0 Ath Bilbao Goal scored by Radamel Falcao from deep inside the penalty area to the top left corner of the goal. Atletico Madrid 1-0 Athletic Bilbao.2:51
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Fernandez Gabi by Iker Muniain. Free kick crossed right-footed by Ribas Diego from right wing, Foul by Diego Godin on Aguinaga Javi Martinez, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Gorka Iraizoz.1:48
Headed effort on goal by Lopez Adrian from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the target.0:52
Aguera Ander Herrera fouled by Kasmirski Filipe Luis, the ref awards a free kick. Aguera Ander Herrera takes the free kick.0:00
The match gets underway.
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