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Europa League

Letna Stadium (ATT 13,750) 4th October 2012 - Kick off 18:00 Ref: M de Sousa

Sp Prague Sparta Prague vs Athletic Bilbao Ath Bilbao

Sp Prague 3

T Zapotocny (25)
B Balaj (41)
J Husbauer (pen 56)

ft

Ath Bilbao 1

O de Marcos (72)

Bilbao suffer Sparta shock

Spanish outfit still stuck in a rut

Last Updated: 04/10/12 9:28pm

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Vaclav Kadlec: Won the penalty which pulled Sparta Prague clear

Vaclav Kadlec: Won the penalty which pulled Sparta Prague clear

Athletic Bilbao's miserable start to the season continued as last year's Europa League finalists were soundly beaten 3-1 by Sparta Prague.

Tomas Zapotocny's powerfully driven shot went straight through Gorka Iraizoz to give the hosts the lead on 25 minutes and the Czech side were somewhat fortunate to double their lead before half-time when Bekim Balaj's header took a wicked deflection off Aritz Aduriz on its way into the bottom corner.

Sparta got another slice of luck when a penalty was awarded for Xabier Castillo's challenge on Vaclav Kadlec despite the contact appearing to take place just outside the area, and Josef Husbauer calmly slotted away the penalty.

Oscar de Marcos pulled a goal back for the visitors with 20 minutes remaining.

Athletic have won just one of their opening six games in the Spanish Primera Liga and they looked like a side devoid of confidence and inspiration.

Kadlec should have given Sparta the lead on 23 minutes as he sped past Carlos Gurpegi but could only prod his shot onto the post when one-on-one with Iraizoz.

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The home side had to wait just five more minutes to get the opening goal as Zapotocny took aim from the edge of the area with an effort that was too hot for Iraizoz.

De Marcos was denied an instant reply as his volley was turned away by Tomas Vaclik before a fine block by Gurpegi prevented Ladislav Krejci making it two.

The second goal did arrive for Sparta five minutes before the break when Husbauer's cross was headed towards goal by Balaj and took a decisive deflection off Aduriz on its way past Iraizoz.

Vaclik made a brilliant save at the beginning of the second period to turn away Castillo's powerful header and any hope the visitors had of a comeback were extinguished when the full-back clashed with Kadlec and the additional assistant referee behind the goal instructed Manuel De Sousa to award the penalty.

Husbauer made no mistake from the spot, and despite some great skill by Iker Muniain to set up De Marcos for Athletic's consolation, the hosts were not unduly troubled as they held onto their advantage in the final quarter.

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Matches

  • Europa League

    Thu 4th Oct - Group A
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    • Liverpool
      2 - 3
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    Thu 4th Oct - Group H
    Thu 4th Oct - Group I
    Thu 4th Oct - Group J
    • Lazio
      1 - 0
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      1 - 1
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    Thu 4th Oct - Group K
    • Metalist
      2 - 0
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      0 - 1
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    Thu 4th Oct - Group L
    • Hannover
      2 - 1
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      2 - 2
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    Thu 4th Oct - Group G
    Thu 4th Oct - Group B
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      1 - 0
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    Thu 4th Oct - Group C
    Thu 4th Oct - Group D
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      2 - 0
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    • Newcastle
      3 - 0
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    Thu 4th Oct - Group E
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      2 - 0
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      1 - 0
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    Thu 4th Oct - Group F

Tables

Europa League Group A

Europa League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Valencia 6 13
2 Swansea City 6 8
3 Kuban 6 6
4 St Gallen 6 6

Europa League Group B

Europa League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Ludogorets 6 16
2 Chernomorets Odessa 6 10
3 PSV Eindhoven 6 7
4 Dinamo Zagreb 6 1

Europa League Group C

Europa League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Red Bull Salzburg 6 18
2 Esbjerg 6 12
3 IF Elfsborg 6 4
4 Standard Liege 6 1

Europa League Group D

Europa League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Rubin Kazan 6 14
2 Maribor 6 7
3 Zulte-Waregem 6 7
4 Wigan Athletic 6 5

Europa League Group E

Europa League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Fiorentina 6 16
2 Dnipro 6 12
3 Pacos Ferreira 6 3
4 Pandurii Targu-Jiu 6 2

Europa League Group F

Europa League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Eintracht Frankfurt 6 15
2 Maccabi Tel Aviv 6 11
3 Apoel Nicosia 6 5
4 Bordeaux 6 3

Europa League Group G

Europa League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Genk 6 14
2 Dynamo Kiev 6 10
3 Rapid Vienna 6 6
4 FC Thun 6 3

Europa League Group H

Europa League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Sevilla 6 12
2 Slovan Liberec 6 9
3 SC Freiburg 6 6
4 Estoril 6 3

Europa League Group I

Europa League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Lyon 6 12
2 Real Betis 6 9
3 Vitoria de Guimaraes 6 5
4 Rijeka 6 4

Europa League Group J

Europa League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Trabzonspor 6 14
2 Lazio 6 12
3 Apollon Limassol 6 4
4 Legia Warsaw 6 3

Europa League Group K

Europa League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 6 18
2 Anzhi Makhachkala 6 8
3 Sheriff Tiraspol (Mol) 6 6
4 Tromso 6 1

Europa League Group L

Europa League
Pos Team P Pts
1 AZ Alkmaar 6 12
2 PAOK Salonika 6 12
3 Maccabi Haifa (Isr) 6 5
4 Shakhtyor Karaganda 6 2

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