Athletic in command against Finns

Athletic Bilbao hold a 3-0 half-time lead in their Europa League first-leg qualifier against HJK Helsinki.

Aritz Aduriz [pictured] gave the Basques the lead after powering home a 23rd minute header from Andoni Iraola’s cross, with Markel Susaeta doubling the advantage seven minutes later with another header, this time from Inigo Perez’s corner.

It was no more than Los Leones deserved after completely dominating the opening exchanges, Isma Lopez seeing his shot blocked by goalkeeper and captain Ville Wallen while Mikel San Jose saw a header go into the side netting.

Inigo Perez put the hosts 3-0 up just before the break when his free-kick gave Wallen no chance to put Marcelo Bielsa’s men firmly in command.

Meanwhile, a goal from Juanlu Gomez three minutes before the interval has given Levante the lead against Motherwell at Fir Park.

The veteran 32-year-old struck after the visitors had dominated possession in what was a largely uneventful opening 45 minutes, with Michel going close on 18 minutes for Los Granotas with what was the only other effort of note in the first period.

Tags HJK Helsinki