Thursday, March 29th, 2012
Schalke 2 – Athletic Bilbao 4 (Europa League quarter-finals 1st leg, March 29, 2012) (Longer highlights.) Stabbing the ball home from close range, Fernando Llorente bagged his 23rd goal of the season in the 19th minute to hand Bilbao the advantage. The lead was short-lived as Raul notched his incredible 75th goal in all European competitions with a trademark predatory finish from close quarters. Later in the first half Raul single-handedly ran rings around the Bilbao defence before the Spaniard flopped to the floor following a nutmeg. Schalke took the lead with a wonderful Raul strike on the hour as the 34-year-old legend laced a magnificent volley into the far corner, but the match was tied 2-2 in the 73rd minute when Fernando Llorente headed home an Ibai Gomez’s corner. Seven minutes from time Bilbao yo-yoed the match back in their favour as Oscar De Marcos netted a third away goal for the Basques. An incredible finish to the match from Bilbao ended when teengaer Iker Munian netted a fourth to leave Schalke facing an uphill task to stay in the tournament.