Spanish clubs prevail in Europa League

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Madrid, March 11 (IANS) Spanish football clubs prevailed in the last 16 of the Europa League with Athletic Club Bilbao, Villareal and Sevilla registering wins.

A scoreless away draw was good enough on Thursday for reigning Europa League champions Sevilla against Basel, whose ground will host the final of this season’s competition, reports Xinhua.

Sevilla’s away form was once again a problem for a side that has not won a league or European tie outside of their Sanchez Pizjuan stadium all season, but coach Unai Emery will have faith that a run of home form that has seen them win their last 12 domestic games will carry on into Europe and take them into the last 8.

Bilbao came out on top of the all-Spanish tie winning 1-0 at home against Valencia in a rain sodden San Mames Stadium where the conditions made football almost impossible.

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A Raul Garcia header separated the two sides, but Bilbao could regret missed chances from Aritz Aduriz and Sabin Marino on a night when they were far superior to their rivals.

Villarreal also had a great result as Marcelino Garcia’s men took a big step towards the quarter-finals with a 2-0 win at home over Bayer Leverkusen thanks to two goals from Cedric Bakambu, who scored in the fourth and 56th minutes to give the Spaniards a big advantage over the German side.

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