- Spain's Athletic Bilbao beat Bundesliga side Schalke 4-2 in first leg of Europa League quarterfinal
- Atletico Madrid also beat German opposition, overcoming Hannover 2-1
- Valencia go down 2-1 to Dutch side AZ Alkmaar; Sporting Lisbon beat Ukraine's Metalist Kharkiv 2-1
A glorious attacking display by Athletic Bilbao earned the Spanish side a 4-2 win at Schalke in the first leg of the Europa League quarterfinals at the Veltins Arena on Thursday.
Fernando Llorente put Athletic ahead in the 20th minute poking the ball home after a Schalke goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand mishandled the ball.
But the lead didn't last long with Spain's Raul latching onto a cross from Japan defender Atsuto Uchida to level the scores two minutes later.
The veteran striker was on hand to score Schalke's second of the night and the goal of the match in the 60th minute as he smashed home a sensational 20-yard volley.
A free-flowing game eventually yielded a fourth goal in the 73rd minute as Llorente headed home his second of the night with De Marcos firing Athletic ahead with nine minutes remaining.
An injury-time counterattack earned the away side a fourth when Markel Susaeta unselfishly squared the ball to Iker Muniain who swept the ball past a helpless Mathias Schober -- who replaced the injured Hildebrand at halftime.
It was also a good night for Atletico Madrid as they beat Hannover 2-1 at the Estadio Vicente Calderon.
Colombian striker Falcao headed home from Gabi's free-kick to give the home side an early ninth minute lead before Mame Diouf put the German side back on level terms seven minutes before the break sliding in to meet a Lars Stindl cross.
Falcao was involved in the winner, nodding down into the path of substitute Eduardo Salvio who then curled a shot past goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler.
Spain's third representative in the quarterfinals, Valencia didn't fare so well, going down 2-1 away to Dutch side AZ Alkmaar.
Australian striker Brett Holman put the home side ahead on the stroke of halftime with a deft side-foot volley from a corner kick.
Valencia grabbed what could be a vital away goal six minutes after the break when Turkish international Mehmet Topal heading home from close range.
But it was AZ's night as Maarten Martens slotted home neatly after receiving a cutback from Brett Holman.
Second half goals from Marat Izmailov (51st minute) and a 64th minute free kick from Emiliano Insua earned Sporting Lisbon a 2-1 win over Metalist Kharkiv. The Ukrainian side grabbed an away goal in injury time when Cleiton Xavier scored from the penalty spot.
All four second legs will be played on Thursday April 5.