MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 19: Radamel Falcao of Atletico Madrid celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Europa League Semi Final first leg match between Atletico Madrid and Valencia at Vicente Calderon stadium on April 19, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
Athletic Bilbao and Valencia trail in the UEFA Europa League semifinals, but both semifinal ties are still very much in play.
The UEFA Europa League semifinals resume on Thursday, with Atletico Madrid and Sporting Lisbon leading the two ties. Neither lead is comfortable, though, with Athletic Bilbao perhaps favored to advance over Sporting, while Valencia's two away goals give them a decent chance to overturn the first leg result at the Mestalla.
Atletico Madrid have a 4-2 lead after Radamel Falcao pulled off a spectacular performance in the first leg. They led 4-1 after 90 minutes of play, but Ricardo Costa scored for Los Che in stoppage time, giving his team a way back into the tie.
Something similar happened in Lisbon, as Sporting pulled off a fantastic comeback to take a 2-1 lead to San Mames. Jon Aurtenetxe scored the opener on a free kick and the Lions looked to be well in control of the semifinal, but Sporting fought back and scored twice late. Emiliano Insua equalized in the 75th minute and Diego Perotti, Sporting's best player on the night, scored the winner five minutes later.
Athletic will return Javi Martinez and Iker Muniain to the lineup, but will be without Oscar de Marcos. Sporting got a big fitness boost over the weekend with the return of Matias Fernandez, who missed the first leg. Neither Atletico Madrid or Valencia have any changes in their injury and suspension situation from the first leg.
Both games kick off at 3:05 p.m. ET, 9:05 p.m. local time in Spain. Valencia-Atletico Madrid is on GolTV in the USA, EuroWorld Sport in Canada and ITV 4 in the UK. Athletic Bilbao-Sporting Lisbon can be seen on DirecTV Soccer in the USA and Channel 5 in the UK.