Sevilla, Shakhtar Donetsk and Villarreal all came out of their quarterfinal first legs smiling. Each side picked up a win, with two of the teams doing so away from home.
WhileJürgen Klopp returned to Dortmund with his Liverpool side
, three other Europa League quarterfinals were played on Thursday night. Sevilla and Shakhtar Donetsk were the top performers, with both sides picking up vital away wins. Villarreal were also winners on the night, edging out Sparta Prague at home.
Competition holders Sevilla battled out an impressive 2-1 win at Athletic Bilbao, who took the lead through ageless veteran Aritz Aduriz. The 35 year-old striker, who is the Europa League's top scorer with nine goals, broke the deadlock two minutes into the second half by heading in a cross from Iker Muniain.
However, eight minutes later Muniain gifted an equalizer to Sevilla's Timothee Kolodziejczak with a poor backpass.
Sevilla then had control of the match and made the most of their pressure as Vicente Iborra hit a late winner for the visitors after being played through by Kevin Gameiro, despite a strong suspicion of offside.
Shakhtar leave Portugal on top
The second fixture played in Spain on Thursday saw Villarreal beat Sparta Prague 2-1 thanks to a handsome brace from Cedric Bakambu, either side of an away goal from Jakub Brabec. Villarreal should really have scored more but were frequently foiled by impressive Sparta keeper David Bicik.
Elsewhere, Shakhtar Donetsk won 2-1 at Braga after goals from Yaroslav Rakitskiy and Facundo Ferreyra. A late goal from Wilson Eduardo pulled one back for Braga, however the Portuguese side has a real mountain to climb in order to reach the semifinals.