Valencia lead trio of Spanish clubs into Europa League semis

    Jordi Alba celebrates after scoring as his Valencia team charged into the semifinals of the Europa League.

    Story highlights

    • Three Spanish clubs in semifinals of Europa League
    • Valencia beat AZ Alkmaar 4-0 to go through 5-2 on aggregate
    • Athletic Bilbao and Atletico Madrid also advance
    • Sporting Lisbon represent Portugal in last four
    Valencia led a trio of Spanish clubs into the semifinals of the Europa League with a 4-0 thrashing of AZ Alkmaar Thursday.
    Trailing 2-1 from the first leg in the Netherlands, the La Liga side took just 15 minutes at their Mestalla Stadium to draw level on aggregate as Adil Rami scored.
    He quickly added a second before Jordi Alba made it three on 56 minutes. Pablo Hernandez completed the rout in the 80th minute for the two-time Champions League finalists.
    Valencia, who won the 2004 UEFA Cup under Rafael Benitez, will face fellow Spanish club Atletico Madrid in the last four.
    2010 winners Atletico won 2-1 at Bundesliga Hanover to go through 4-2 on aggregate.
    Leading 2-1 from the first leg in the Spanish capital, Atletico went further ahead in the tie as Adrian Lopez scored a fine individual goal.
    Mame Diouf gave Hanover some late hope with an equalizer on 81 minutes but Radamel Falcao scored the clinching goal for Atletico in the closing moments.
    Athletic Bilboa, such impressive winners over English Premier League leaders Manchester United in the quarterfinals, were held 2-2 by Schalke on their home ground, but the Basque side went through 6-4 on aggregate.
    Schalke, beaten 4-2 by the Spaniards in their home leg, twice led through Raul and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, but were twice pegged back.
    Ibai Gomez and Markel Susaeta scored the equalizers as Bilbao earned a semifinal clash with Sporting Lisbon.
    The Portuguese side, who put out Manchester City in the previous round, drew 1-1 at Metalist Kharkhiv of Ukraine to advance 3-2 on aggregate.
    Ricky Van Wolfswinkel put Sporting ahead before Argentinian striker Jonathan Cristaldo leveled for the Ukrainians.