<
>
2015/16 UEFA Europa League, 2015 First Round
  • Iñaki Williams (15', 19')
  • Beñat (40')
  • Aritz Aduriz (71')
  • Gorka Elustondo (81')
  • Aboubakar Oumarou (17')

Athletic Bilbao 5-1 Partizan Belgrade

Athletic Bilbao moved three points clear at the top of Europa League Group L with a convincing 5-1 victory over Partizan Belgrade to close in on qualification for the knock-out stage.
Three goals in four first-half minutes saw Inaki Williams put the home side ahead, only for Partizan striker Aboubakar Oumarou to slot a rapid equaliser, before the Spanish forward scored a second for Bilbao from close range.
Midfielder Etxebarria Benat curled in a 20-yard free-kick just before half-time to leave Athletic in control, with Aritz Aduriz guiding home a looping header on 71 minutes before substitute Gorka Elustondo netted a late fifth to complete the rout.
The home side were given the perfect start when Williams put them ahead in the 16th minute, the forward capitalising on a slip from Belgrade defender Gregor Balazic to fire an angled drive past Filip Kljajic.
However, that lead was short-lived as Cameroon forward Oumarou swiftly equalised for Partizan almost immediately after the restart, slotting home from the right side of the penalty area after breaking clear of a high defensive line to silence the home support at San Mames.
Bilbao were back in front when Aduriz was played into the left of the penalty area and cut the ball back across goal for Williams to tap home.
The Basque side then soaked up some pressure from the Serbian SuperLiga champions, who failed to make the group stages of the Champions League after losing on away goals to BATE Borisov in the play-offs.
Partizan - under new manager Ljubinko Drulovic and already 19 points adrift of runaway SuperLiga leaders Red Star Belgrade - fell further behind five minutes before half-time.
Aduriz charged down the centre, and was tripped on the edge of the area by Marko Jevtovic, who, with other defenders covering, was shown only a yellow card by Greek referee Michael Koukoulakis.
Benat, though, made Partizan pay when he stepped up to curl home a fine free-kick around the outside of the wall.
Williams had the ball in the net again after 50 minutes, but Markel Susaeta had run offside to collect the initial through-ball.
Partizan were almost gifted a way back into the match when Athletic goalkeeper Iago Herrerin has to dash towards his goal to hack a back-pass clear.
Aduriz made it 4-1 when he sent his well-directed header over the goalkeeper after Benat floated in a deep free-kick from the right.
With nine minutes left, Bilbao scored a fifth when Aduriz's cutback was bundled in by Elustondo.
ends

Europa League News