Athletic Bilbao Vs. Schalke, 2012 Europa League: Markel Susaeta Hits The Dagger In A Thriller

Schalke 04 put themselves into a position to get back into their UEFA Europa League tie on a couple of occasions, but they were stuffed by an Athletic Bilbao team that found answers for Schalke's goals, then defended brilliantly for the final half-hour. Schalke took the lead on two occasions, but could never build the two-goal lead they needed as Athletic came from behind twice to draw 2-2.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar gave his team hope in the 28th minute with a brilliant strike, as he cut in from the left before drilling a low shot past Gorka Iraizoz from 20 yards out. The Königsblauen would have felt confident about their chances of advancing if they were able to take a 1-0 lead into halftime, but Ibai Gómez answered for Bilbao just before the half with an absolutely spectacular strike from the left corner of the penalty area, scored from 25 yards out and placed past Lars Unnerstall at his far post.

Raúl put Schalke ahead in the 52nd minute with a goal just as impressive as the game's first two, assisted by Chinedu Obasi at the end of a great team move, but he was answered by Markel Susaeta three minutes later. Schalke, who have had serious goalkeeping woes since the departure of Manuel Neuer, were burned again by poor keeping. Unnerstall was beaten badly at his near post and should have done much better.

Bilbao defended well for the remainder of the game, holding on for a 6-4 aggregate win. They move on to face Sporting Lisbon, the only team remaining in the competition that does not hail from La Liga.

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