The all Iberian showdown between the Lusos and the Basques kept up the Europa Cup's fast growing reputation of put whatever you're doing down and enjoin (an amalgam of join + enjoy) the thrill a minute, eyeballs to the wall, non stop, box to box action on display by some of the world's best talent. The Champions League hogs all the limelight but the scouts and coaches are scouring the Europa Cup for their next signing. This match had plenty of exhilarating stuff.
Jon Aurtanexte shot the Basques ahead through what appeared to be a marginally offside goal. Sporting came back late through former Liverpool midfielder Emiliano Insua before sealing the comeback with a Diego Capel scorcher that flew between Gorka Iraizoz and the near post. In between these events, the sides logged about a million Scott Parker miles.
Sporting had about a dozen close looks at goal with the intriguingly named Ricky Van Wolfswinkel a particularly egregious offender while Bilbao were clearly not at their best with the likes of Fernando Llorente, Susaeta, and Iker Munian in subdued mode. However, the silver lining is that all important away goal.
The action continues next week at San Mames. Will it be an all Spanish final?