Bilbao romp in Belgium
By Simon Fudge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Athletic Bilbao thrashed Standard Liege 7-1 to take top spot in Uefa Cup Group B.Athletic Bilbao recorded a memorable victory in Europe with a 7-1 thrashing of Standard Liege in the Uefa Cup.
A hat-trick from Santiago Ezquerro led the Basque club on their way to winning the group in Belgium - with Athletic also getting single strikes from Francisco Javier Yeste, Andoni Iraola, Asier Del Horno and Joseba Etxeberria.
It took the visitors just six minutes to take the lead, as Ezquerro (pictured) easily converted Tiko's low cross from the right for 1-0.
Ezquerro made it two three minutes later after a Standard corner saw Athletic clear the danger and break in the other direction.
The striker beat Standard defender Ivica Dragutinovic before slotting his effort past goalkeeper Vedran Runje from just inside the box for 2-0.
Five minutes later, however, the Belgian club replied, as Sergio Conceicao's free kick found the head of American international Oguchi Onyewu for 2-1.
The visitors then missed the chance to restore their two-goal lead, as Iraola's penalty strike was well stopped by Runje after Etxeberria was initially brought down in the box by Eric Deflandre.
Athletic would not be denied, however, as Francsisco Javier Yeste finished a fine solo run from he right with a low strike that slipped under the diving Runje for a 3-1 half time score.
Ten minutes after the break, Ezquerro completed his hat-trick with another easy finish from Etxeberria's pass after the winger raced clear on the counter-attack.
Three minutes later, Bilbao scored a fifth as Onyewu pulled Etxeberria down in the box for another penalty and Iraola made no mistake this time around to make it 5-1.
The match had turned into a complete rout and it was Del Horno who found the scoresheet with a far post header from Etxeberria's cross from the right for 6-1.
Athletic then notched their seventh goal of the evening when the impressive Etxeberria scored into an open net on the rebound after substitute Ismael Urzaiz's initial shot was blocked.
The result gives Athletic a favourable draw as Group B winners while Standard will have to concentrate on domestic matters in the Belgian Jupiler League after finishing bottom.
Bilbao have been joined in Friday's draw by Italian club Parma, who held on for a 3-2 win over Turkish giants Besiktas at the Ennio Tardini.
It was the Istanbul club that took the lead six minutes in through Turkey international Okan Buruk before the much sought-after Alberto Gilardino levelled matters for the Gialloblu.
Parma needed a win to overtake their Turkish opponents in the group, but missed an opportunity on 25 minutes when Gilardino failed to convert from the penalty spot.
Ten minutes later, however, the Italian side would take the lead through Giuseppe Cardone for a 2-1 lead at the break.
Daniel Degano made it 3-1 for the home side on the hour mark before Besiktas made the final stages interesting with a late strike from Tumer Metin.
Parma held on to take their place in the round of 32 with group winners Athletic Bilbao and Romanian giants Steaua Bucharest, who had already completed their group campaign.