Late Llorente goal sets up all-Spanish Europa League final
April 26, 2012 -- Updated 2213 GMT (0613 HKT)
Fernando Llorente wheels away in delight after scoring the goal that sent Atheltic Bilbao into the Europa League final
- Europa League final to be all-Spanish clash between Athletic Bilbao and Atletico Madrid
- Fernando Llorente's late goal helps Bilbao beat Sporting Lisbon 4-3 on aggregate
- Atletico win 1-0 away at Valencia thanks to Adrian's goal to seal a 5-2 aggregate win
- The final will be held in Romania's capital Bucharest on May 9
(CNN) -- Fernando Llorente's dramatic last minute goal sealed an all-Spanish Europa League final as Athletic Bilbao booked a clash with Atletico Madrid in Bucharest.
The forward's late strike finally settled a pulsating tie against Portugal's Sporting Lisbon ensuring Bilbao triumphed 3-1 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate.
The Basque side will face Atletico Madrid in the final on May 9 after their fellow Spanish team won 1-0 away at Valencia to record an impressive 5-2 aggregate victory.
Trailing 2-1 from the first leg in Portugal, Bilbao leveled the tie when Markel Susaeta fired into the net after Llorente had chested a cross into his path.
Just before halftime Sporting's Dutch striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel smashed a low shot into the net to edge the away side in front once again.
But a minute later Ibai Gomez locked the tie at 3-3 on aggregate and 2-1 on the night after he converted following a glorious piece of skill from Llorente, who beat a man before flicking the ball into his teammate's path.
Both sides hit the woodwork in the second half, Llorente with a header and Emiliano Insua with a vicious long range strike, but the game looked destined for extra time.
That was until the final minute of normal time when Gomez turned inside the area and crossed for star man Llorente to poke home at the near post and send the San Mames stadium into raptures.
In the other semifinal, Valencia came charging out of the blocks, determined to reverse Atletico's 4-2 advantage from the first leg but striker Roberto Soldado wasted two clear cut chances.
The decisive blow was struck on the hour mark as Adrian Lopez took down a long pass on his chest before thumping a fierce volley into the net.
With the tie all but wrapped up, a moment of madness from Atletico's Portuguese midfielder Thiago cost him a place in the final after an extraordinary melee on the field.
Thinking Thiago had handled a cross the referee pointed to the penalty spot, but replays showed it was a Valencia forward who had made contact with the ball.
As players from both sides argued with the referee, Thiago slapped Soldado and then trod on Jordi Alba's foot, earning him a red card and a suspension for the final.
After consultation with his assistants, the referee then reversed his penalty decision and awarded a free kick to Atletico.
The Europa League final will be held in the Romanian capital Bucharest on May 9.
Part of complete coverage on
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT)
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1229 GMT (2029 HKT)
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1656 GMT (0056 HKT)
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1828 GMT (0228 HKT)
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 HKT)
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
June 4, 2014 -- Updated 1504 GMT (2304 HKT)
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
May 30, 2014 -- Updated 1519 GMT (2319 HKT)
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
Today's five most popular stories