Athletic produce stunning comeback

Last year's Copa del Rey runners-up Athletic Bilbao came from two goals down to beat Villarreal 3-2 in the first leg of their last-16 tie at San Mames on Wednesday.

  • Baptistao scores opening goal
  • Garcia doubles visitors' advantage
  • Williams atones for early miss
  • Aduriz equalises off the bench
  • Laporte completes comeback

Match Summary
A thrilling second-half comeback helped Athletic Bilbao to a 3-2 first-leg victory over Villarreal in their last-16 encounter.

Leo Baptistao opened the scoring after the first quarter and then Samu Garcia doubled their tally with a goal seven minutes before the half-time whistle.

But the hosts were given a foot in the game as Inaki Williams scored early in the second half while Aritz Aduriz came off the bench to equalise. And their sensational fightback was complete when Aymeric Laporte scored seven minutes before the end.

Full Report
Athletic Bilbao produced a sensational comeback from two goals down to beat Villarreal.

The hosts had the first opportunity to open the scoring after Williams found himself one-on-one against goalkeeper Mariano Barbosa after being put in by Markel Susaeta, but the striker's shot drifted wide.

Athletic were made to pay for that miss as Garcia nodded on a ball and his strike partner Baptistao latched onto it with a right footed shot into the right corner. 

Xabier Etxeitia and Inigo Lekue fired wide for Athletic before keeper Barbosa saved a shot from midfielder Ander Iturraspe, but there was no breakthrough for the hosts.

The Yellow Submarines made it 2-0 in the 38th minute when Samu Castillejo produced a great ball for Garcia, who made no mistake with the finish.

Williams atoned for his first-half blemish nine minutes into the second half when, just moments after he had a shot on goal blocked, the striker picked up a good ball from Benat and this time he managed to beat Barbosa.

Athletic brought on first-choice striker Aritz Aduriz and he immediately drew a save from a header while the goalkeeper also dealt with a couple of shots from Raul Garcia in the space of a few minutes.

It was no surprise when the pressure eventually told in the 68th minute as Aduriz collected the ball outside the box, ran a few minutes and found the right corner for the equaliser.

The Basque outfit pressed for the winner and their comeback was complete in the 83rd minute when defender Aymeric Laporte snuck in at the far post to score from Benat's cross.

Substitute Mario Gaspar then added salt to Villarreal's injuries when he was given a second yellow card for slapping Aduriz.

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