The final whistle goes at the National Stadium in Bucharest, and Atletico Madrid have won the Europa League for the second time in three years! A stunning double from Falcao and a third from Diego see Athletic Bilbao vanquished 3-0, and the Atletico celebrations begin! Thanks for joining us.
- 2nd Half
- Iñigo Pérez75'
- 1/2 Time
- IturraspeIñigo Pérez45'
- 1st Half
Atlético Madrid - Athletic Club
Europa League - 10 May 2012
Europa League – Follow the Football match between Atlético Madrid and Athletic Club live with Eurosport. The match starts at 04:45 on 10 May 2012. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Have your say by voting on who will win between Atlético Madrid and Athletic Club? Enjoy some pre-match reading with related articles about these two Enjoy some pre-match reading with related articles about these two Football teams.
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The ebullient Ibai unleashes a thunderous strike from 25 yards out as he beats Courtois, but it goes agonisingly over the crossbar!
Atletico keep the ball in their half as they look to run down the clock, and Athletic are a beaten side now. Diego is replaced by Koke.
The Athletic players look absolutely exhausted now as Simeone's side keep the ball on halfway.
Any lingering hope for Athletic has been effectively extinguished as Atletico keep the ball in their own half.
There are jubilant scenes as the Atletico subs pile on Diego, and he celebrates wildly!
GOAL!!!! DIEGO SCORES ATLETICO'S THIRD! It's game over as Diego is put through on goal, and he keeps his cool to beat Iraizoz with a clinical finish, and Muniain collapses in tears on halfway with his side beaten!
Toquero drives in a low cross from the right, but De Marcos misses his attempted kick at the back post and another chance goes begging.
Ibai Gomez has proved Bielsa's best change, and he continues to cause havoc in the final third with his jinking runs.
Again, Falcao picks up the ball from deep and charges down the left, and he would have thoroughly deserved that hat-trick.
Athletic continue to pile forward in their droves, but Atletico are defending obdurately and with real courage.
Falcao hits the post! The Colombian forward is denied his hat-trick as he beats Iraizoz with a fierce low drive from inside the Athletic box, but it rebounds off the near post!
Exceptional defending from Atletico as Godin and Miranda throw themselves at the ball to make crucial blocks - this is frantic stuff!
It's one-way traffic at the National Stadium in Bucharest, and half the stadium continue to whistle as Athletic keep the ball and attempt to create chances.
Susaeta fires a low shot towards the target, but it takes a deflection - fortunately for Atletico - off Gabi and away it goes for a corner.
Athletic continue to keep possession in the final third, but Atletico are resolute in holding their shape.
Suarez plants a very poor free kick straight into the base of the Athletic wall from 25 yards out, and that's a missed opportunity.
De Marcos will be left to rue that missed chance if his side do not recover from their two-goal deficit - he lost his composure completely there!
Gomez is causing a lot of problems in the final third, and he wriggles past two challenges before cutting the ball back for de Marcos, who fires wide!
Llorente knocks the ball down with a header inside the Atletico box, but Ibai Gomez's shot zips agonisingly over the crossbar with Courtois at full stretch!
Falcao is being left completely isolated, but the way he is holding the ball up is exceptional.
Atletico are sitting very deep, soaking up the pressure, but continue to look very dangerous on the counter-attack.
Diego attempts a pretty absurd long-range effort which Iraizoz is able to calmly collect, and Adrian is furious at that.
Falcao wins a free kick for his side with more tireless work down the left flank, and he has been absolutely superb this evening.
Herrera, on a booking, probably had to be withdrawn with referee Stark constantly warning the midfielder. Toquero battles away in the final third.
Will this latest tactical shift from Bielsa shake Atletico out of their comfort zone in this second half?
Ander Herrera comes off as Gaizka Toquero is introduced to a typical huge roar from the Athletic fans!
Mario Suarez keeps the ball moving for Atletico on halfway as Bielsa prepares to make his final change.
Inigo Perez almost catches Courtois off guard with a very deep free kick from out on the right, and the goalkeeper is forced to scurry back and tip the ball behind for a corner.
Referee Stark has a stern word with Herrera, whose frustration is threatening to boil over as he remonstrates with the official.
Herrera twists and turns in the Atletico half, and he wins a free kick with good footwork.
Bielsa implores his players to show more urgency and increase the tempo of their play as Muniain wins a corner out on the right.
Athletic are struggling to make an impact despite better use of possession in this second half, and Atletico are defending stoutly.
Otto Rock suggests that Falcao's agent will already be receiving messages from the Etihad Stadium. Do you think he will be on his way in the summer?
It's sensational play from Falcao once more as he jinks past Gomez, but this time Turan shoots tamely on target.
Falcao harries the Athletic back four to good effect as Iraola is forced to make a poor clearance out of play.
Athletic look to build the pressure as Muniain drifts off his marker, and he is proving very elusive.
Atletico settle into the second half belatedly as Falcao gets down the left to the byline and attempts a shot from an acute angle which flies into the side netting!
Atletico have faced Spanish opposition nine times before in Europe (4-2-3). They are unbeaten in their last five (3-2-0).
It's a very fast start from the side in green as Muniain is freed and gets to the byline, but Miranda clears his cross into the six-yard box!
The second half is underway, and Athletic will have to make a big response! Bielsa makes two changes with Iturraspe and Aurtenetxe coming off and Inigo Perez and Ibai Gomez introduced.
Suarez and Turan combine before the latter is hauled down on halfway, and that is the half-time whistle. Atletico are in complete control courtesy of a stunning Falcao double, and Athletic have, as yet, had no response! Bielsa is a very disgruntled figure as he stalks off down the tunnel.
Falcao goes down as he jostles for a loose ball with Amorebieta, and Atletico are ending the half strongly.
We're into stoppage time in the first half, and Athletic fail to make anything of a corner as De Marcos misses his kick on the edge of the penalty area.
Eventually, Athletic clear the danger, and they can now enjoy a fleeting foray into the Atletico half. They could really do with a goal back before half-time.
Kasmirski wins a free kick with a marauding run down the left, and he does very well to draw the challenge and create an opening.
There is some brief respite for Athletic as Adrian fouls Martinez, and they can build from the back.
Atletico win yet another corner as Suarez sprints down the right, and Athletic are being stretched time and time again.
Herrera jinks away dangerously on the edge of the Atletico box, but he is crowded out as he attempts a shot which is cleared by Gabi.
The faces of the Athletic fans are understandably gloomy already as Atletico attack once more.
Atletico look so dangerous on the counter-attack as Athletic continue to leave themselves exposed at the back.
Athletic have a free kick out on the right, and there is plenty of jostling inside the box as Llorente et al await the eventual delivery...
Atletico are positively brimming with confidence as Falcao looks up to the heavens once more. What a performance already from him!
It was poor defending from Athletic as Andoni Iraola dallied crucially on the edge of his side's penalty area, and he's ruthlessly punished.
GOAL!!!! FALCAO MAKES IT TWO!! It's another incredible goal from Falcao, who twists and turns inside the Athletic box before firing an emphatic shot beyond the helpless Iraizoz!
Juanfran wins a free kick outwide on the right as he is chopped down by Susaeta, and this could be dangerous...
Javi Martinez hurtles into the Atletico box, but he doesn't have the ball under control as he goes down very easily inside the area, and the referee is not impressed.
Diego slides a through ball into the path of Falcao, but the forward is caught offside as the Athletic defenders step up.
Muniain slides in rather crudely on Mario Suarez, but this time the referee keeps his cards in his pocket.
If the score stays the same throughout, Falcao will secure back-to-back Europa League successes after winning the tournament with FC Porto last season.
Llorente almost creates an opening on the edge of the Atletico box, but he is eventually crowded out as he prepares to shoot.
This is the second consecutive season that this final will be played between clubs from the same country. Last year, Porto defeated Braga in Dublin.
It's a booking for Falcao as he dives in recklessly on Iturraspe on halfway, and he can have no complaints there.
Falcao continues to hold the ball up superbly for Atletico, and he ensures the counter attacking is swift and incisive.
Chance! It's a tremendous strike from Muniain from all of 30 yards, and Thibaut Courtois has to dive low to parry wide with Llorente unable to latch on to the rebound!
Athletic clear the ball away under pressure inside their box, and Diego's delivery does not cause any problems.
Diego takes the free kick, but it comes off Llorente in the wall and runs behind for a corner.
Falcao sprints clear with just Herrera to beat, but he is held up and eventually runs out of options with Diego fouled by the defender. Herrera is booked.
Muniain dictates the play for Athletic as he drops deep and sprays the ball around, but Atletico are content to sit off their opponents.
We have two pitch intruders, ladies and gentlemen. Not chickens, cats or squirrels.
What a chance! Llorente steals in at the near post to meet a delightful cross, but he rather slices his volley wide from close range!
Bilbao have met Spanish opposition on one previous occasion. They lost the two-legged match against Barcelona in the 1976/77 UEFA Cup quarter-final.
Diego skips past two challenges before firing a fairly innocuous low shot wide of the far post with Iraizoz comfortable.
Juanfran does superbly to clear from the back with a composed jinking run, and Atletico break on the counter-attack.
Athletic build from the back with good approach play before Muniain wins a corner with a dangerous run down the left of the penalty area.
Bielsa is crouched down on the edge of his technical area, clearly concerned by the way this match has started.
Llorente is furious with referee Stark, who penalises him for jostling for the ball with Miranda.
Gabi and Diego keep the ball for Atletico, with Athletic starting this match pretty slowly. Falcao has stunned everyone!
This is the sixth final in a European tournament between two Spanish clubs, which breaks the Italian record for most European finals between clubs from the same country (5).
The Atletico fans are understandably jubilant as their side keep the ball on the deck inside their own half - what a start to this match!
What an incredible strike that was from Falcao, and Gorka Iraizoz had absolutely no chance of getting even close to saving it.
GOAL!!! WHAT A STRIKE FROM FALCAO! Falcao twists and turns out on the right of the penalty area before unleashing a stunning left-footed strike into the far corner of the net - wow!
This is the first European final played in Romania. /// Shrey Mantri thinks it will be 2-1 to Atletico.
Atletico again press forward with Diego instrumental, but he cannot fashion a shot from inside a packed Athletic box.
Athletic keep the ball on halfway, and Diego Simeone is already out on the touchline in very animated fashion.
Each side has a win apiece in their clashes in La Liga this season. Llorente scored twice in a 3-0 home win for Athletic in October but Falcao's double secured Atletico a 2-1 victory at their Calderon home in March.
Chance! Adrian Lopez misses the target with a glancing header as he gets in front of his marker Jon Aurtenetxe - that was a promising opportunity!
The first half is underway! Athletic keep the ball in their half early on as they line up in their green change shirts, with Atletico in their traditional red and white stripes.
We're just five minutes from kick-off now, and the National Stadium in Bucharest is a scene of frenzied anticipation - what noise! The referee for tonight's match is Wolfgang Stark of Germany, and he leads the players out...
These teams have met each other in 150 Spanish league matches, with Atletico having the upper hand with 64 wins. Bilbao have won 59 of their meetings (27 draws). /// Dan Rodenby thinks Bilbao will win 2-0 through Muniain and Llorente. Sammy2 thinks it will be 3-2 to Athletic! Himanshu Yadav thinks it wil be 2-1 to Atletico. What do others think?
What is your prediction for this evening's Europa League final? What do you think the scoreline will be and who do you think will get on the scoresheet?
Athletic have had a mammoth season, but Atletico have actually played more Europa League games - 18 against the Basques 15. It's been quite a journey for both sides...
The atmosphere is absolutely incredible at the National Stadium in Bucharest, with both sets of fans holding red and white banners, flags, scarves and all sorts, making a terrific noise!
As a combative, no-nonsense midfielder, former Argentina captain Diego Simeone gave no quarter and expected nothing in return. As a coach he appears to be capable of mixing straight talk with a more philosophical side. "We have to play with enthusiasm and imagination... with the imagination of a young lad who is playing his first final," he said.
Athletic Bilbao's success in reaching the Europa League and Copa del Rey finals this season is down to the youth team coaches who cultivated the players in the current side, according to coach Marcelo Bielsa. "It's up to us in this case to make use of what they have produced, this team is a young generation with a very high percentage produced in the same institution," he said.
According to Eurosport expert Rafael Benitez, "We will see an evenly matched final in Bucharest between two sides who have had a great tournament, scoring goals and coming out on top in most of the games they have played to get to the final."
ATLETICO MADRID: Courtois, Juanfran, Godin, Miranda, Filipe Luis, Mario Suarez, Gabi, Diego, Adrian, Turan, Falcao. Subs: Sergio Asenjo, Antonio Lopez, Salvio, Paulo Assuncao, Koke, Dominguez, Martin /// ATHLETIC BILBAO: Iraizoz, Iraola, Javi Martinez, Amorebieta, Aurtenetxe, Ander Herrera, Iturraspe, De Marcos, Susaeta, Llorente, Muniain. Subs: Raul, Toquero, San Jose, Gabilondo, Inigo Perez, Ekiza, Ibai
Athletic are also the romantic's choice, the home-grown players who are chasing the club's first ever European trophy. The closest they had previously come was reaching the final of the UEFA Cup in 1977, where they lost to Juventus.
It's a first all-Spanish European final since Sevilla's Hampden thriller against Espanyol in the 2007 UEFA Cup and the two teams couldn't be better matched. Eurosport's Spanish football expert Andy Mitten sets the stage...
Good evening and welcome to Eurosport-Yahoo!'s live coverage of the all-Spanish Europa League final as Marcelo Bielsa's Athletic Bilbao take on Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid at the National Arena in Bucharest.