Athletic Bilbao Coach Jose Angel Ziganda feels his side’s game plan worked perfectly as they beat Spartak Moscow 3-1.
Two Aritz Aduriz strikes and an Ilya Kutepov own goal put the Basque side three goals up at the home of the Russian champions before half-time.
It means that despite the hosts grabbing a second half consolation, the San Mames club are well placed to secure a place in the last 16 of the Europa League.
“We had a plan and it went how we wanted it to,” Ziganda said in his post-match media briefing.
“We felt that they might start strongly and that we would have to deal with that first period.
“The team was committed and you can see it in the result.
“We managed to score and win the match. We knew it would be difficult against the champions of Russia.
“We were very comitted from the beginning. We gave very little away.
“The strategy worked well, on other days the ball just hasn’t gone in for us.”
Though his side have a healthy first leg advantage, Ziganda warned against complacency ahead of next week’s return at the San Mames.
“Away from home, we would have taken scoring and winning. We managed to get three, but we can’t be complacent.”