Despite the fact that the “Greens” played better than their opponents, “dictating” their rhythm and style and leading the score by 2-0, they have finally lost 2-3. Athletic Club Bilbao gained a big advantage to qualify for Europa League’s group stage after the game held at “Apostolos Nicolaidis” stadium for the first leg of the play-offs of Europa League.

…it happened indeed! It might sound strange to everyone who watched the duel and even unjust, considering the big image of the game and even if Panathinaikos didn’t deserved it, as Marinos Ouzounidis stated after the match, they lost against Athletic Bilbao letting in 3 goals in just 7 minutes (from the 68th minute to the 74th!). This rather unusual comeback was not the normal result of the course of the match till that moment.

In the contrary, Panathinaikos was a team able to strengthen, obviously, that they controlled the duel and that the 2-0 score till that moment was absolutely correct. The hosting team was superior to their Basque opponents from the beginning of the match. The “Shamrock” did a good passing game without allowing the “rojiblancos” to reach their box and succeed to press high creating dangerous situations in front of Herrerin’s goalposts. This way Lod did an outstanding shoot and opened the score (1-0) in the 29th minute. This way the first half ended, Athletic had just one chance.

In the second period Cabezas set the stadium of Leoforos on fire, after he scored his team’s second goal in the 55th minute.

The entrance of Williams in the 57th minute and the coming up of Muniain helped Athletic to become more aggressive and to alert initially in the 61st minute and to score the goal which “changed” their psychology in the 68th minute by Aduriz.
Panathinaikos lost its concentration for a short while, which cost him a second goal by the Basque top scorer and one more by De Marcos. Zeca and Donis lost two more chances to draw and so the score remained 2-3 till the end of the match. Athletic became the front runner to be qualified for the next stage, as the rematch will be held next week in San Mames stadium.


Panathinaikos: Vlachodimos, Reis, Moledo, Koutroubis, Hult, Lod, Zeca, Kourbelis, Cabezas (84′ Donis), Altman (51′ Luciano), Molins (73′ Chatzigiovanis)

Athletic Club Bilbao: Herrerín, Oscar de Marcos, Etxeita, Laporte, Balenziaga, Vesga, Beñat (77′ Μikel San José), Lekue (57′ Iñaki Williams), Raul García, Muniain (85′ Susaeta), Aduriz.