Hauge strikes as Milan edge 10-man Sparta

Torino conquer Athletic

27/02/2015

Torino got the better of a back-and-forth battle in torrential rain to eliminate Athletic Bilbao from the Europa League.

The Serie A side twice saw their lead pegged back but finally prevailed 3-2 on the night to win 5-4 on aggregate and advance to the last 16.

Fabio Quagliarella's penalty, Maxi Lopez's header and Matteo Darmian's eventual winner ensured Andoni Iraola's excellent goal and one from Oscar De Marcos were in vain.

Bilbao went close first when Benat Etxeberria's long-range free-kick was tipped around the post by keeper Daniele Padelli, while at the other end Quagliarella volleyed over.

He was given a much easier chance with a quarter of an hour gone, though, when Carlos Gurpegi miscontrolled the ball in his own area and in attempting to win it back, fouled Giuseppe Vives.

Quagliarella prioritised power over precision and his spot-kick burst through Iago Herrerin's dive and into the net.

Another Benat set-piece, this time crossed from a wide position, was headed over by Mikel San Jose while at the other end, Quagliarella was unable to divert the ball on target from a narrow angle.

Just before half-time, Bilbao were level with a wonderful goal. Benat's flighted ball into the box was picture-perfect and was matched by full-back Iraola's instant control beyond the far post and a deft finish into the roof of the net.

A booking for Mikel Rico meant the Bilbao midfielder will miss his side's next European game, but a goal on the stroke of half-time limited the chances of that being this season.

Darmian crossed from the right corner of the box and Maxi got in front of Herrerin to powerfully head home.

Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte curled a free-kick just over early in the second period but Athletic were grateful to Herrerin for keeping them in the game with a point-blank save from Maxi.

A header from Bilbao substitute Inaki Williams came back off the far post but the hosts levelled matters just after the hour mark.

Iker Muniain rode a challenge and slid a ball through the defence for De Marcos, who slotted first-time past Torino keeper Daniele Padelli.

Once again, though, parity was short-lived as Omar El Kaddouri crossed from the left and Darmian arrived at the far post to volley low past Herrerin, eliminating the chance of extra-time and leaving the Primera Division side needing two goals.

Padelli saved San Jose's header and was forced into a good scrambling save from Iraola's swerving drive.

Darmian should have killed the tie off once and for all when he rounded Herrerin but, forced wide, he ballooned his shot over.

Markel Susaeta shot wide at the other end and despite a succession of corners, the Basque side were unable to find the goals they needed.

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