Levante 3 : 0 Athletic Bilbao - Ghezzal helps Levante secure European place



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Posted Sunday, May 13, 2012 by PA

Two goals from Algerian striker Abdelkader Ghezzal paved the way for Levante to hold onto sixth place in the Primera Division and with it qualification for next season's Europa League following a 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao.

Juan Ignacio's men headed into the game against Athletic Bilbao knowing anything other than a win was unlikely to be enough and they coasted home with Ghezzal's brace and a late Francisco Farinos penalty giving them a comfortable win.

Marcelo Bielsa's visitors were always likely to struggle after the disappointment of Wednesday's Europa League final defeat against Atletico Madrid, but they started well with Gaizka Toquero coming close with a fourth-minute header.

Gomez Ibai brought a save out of Levante goalkeeper Gustavo Cabral and Toquero hit another chance over the bar before the hosts took a 33rd-minute lead when Ghezzal headed home a Jose Barkero cross.

Levante pushed forward in a bid to double their advantage and Roberto Botelho came close from 20 yards before Ghezzal got his second on the stroke of half-time, finishing off a long pass from Cabral.

Ghezzal came close to completing his hat-trick one minute after the restart when his shot was blocked in the box by Fernando Amorebieta, but Bilbao were close to reducing the deficit on 57 minutes when Fernando Llorente's header was tipped over the bar.

Barkero and Vicente Iborra both missed the target for Levante and Keylor Navas saved from Amorebieta at the other end before Farinos finished things off in the box two minutes from time after Amorebieta handled in the box.

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