Athletic Bilbao booked their place in the final of the Europa League with a late goal from Fernando Llorente giving them a 3-1 win at the San Mames and a 4-3 win on aggregate over Sporting Lisbon.

The Basque outfit will meet La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid in the final, following Atletic's victory over Valencia.

Athletic took the lead on the night after 18 minutes to bring themselves level in the tie and ahead on away goals. Some neat passing gave Iker Munian some space down the right to deliver a ball into the middle where Fernando Llorente to chest down for Markel Susaeta to Volley down into the ground and past Rui Patricio from 12 yards out.

Sporting put themselves back in pole position, though, with a goal a minute before half-time. Athletic cleared a corner as far as Andre Martins whose drive was blocked back to hitman Ricky van Wolfswinkel who hammered the ball left-footed low into the corner of the net.

But no sooner was Sporting celebrating going back in front then Athletic squared things up in first-half injury time. Atypically pleasing on the eye attacking move from Marcelo Bielsa's men saw Llorente show he is more than just goals with a sublime drag pack and pass through to Ibai Gomez, who slotted the ball past Patricio.

And the start of the second-half continued where the first left off with both sides hitting the woodwork in the opening 10 minutes.

First up, highly-rated midfielder Javi Martinez headed the ball against the bar from an Athletic corner. Then just three minutes later, Sporting followed-suit as Emiliano Insua received a layoff from a free-kick and unleashed a ferocious 30-yard strike that came back off the post.

With extra time looking like it was on the way, Athletic hit a late winner two minutes from time. And, fittingly, it was the man who set-up Athletic's first two goals, Fernando Llorente who booked their place in the final.

Ibai Gomez fired the ball across the six-yard box where Llorente outstretched his leg to prod the ball into the back of the net and send the San Mames wild.


Athletic Bilbao vs Sporting Lisbon 3:1 GOALS... by maidb7abc