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Athletic's Ziganda: "It's great to be back in Europe for another year"

The Bilbaínos are in the Europa League after emerging from two complicated Play-Off legs: "The pressure was on. It's all or nothing in these ties", the coach said.

GRA311. BILBAO(BIZKAIA), 24/08/2017.- El entrenador del Athletic, José Ángel Ziganda (c) da indicaciones a sus jugadores durante el partido de vuelta de la ronda playoff de la Liga Europa disputado hoy ante el Panathinaikos en el estadio de San Mamés. EFE/JAVIER ZORRILLA

Athletic Club coach José Ángel Cuco Ziganda expressed his satisfaction at tonight's 1-0 result against Panathinaikos which means the Basque outfit book their place in the Europa League group stage -  the fourth consecutive year they have qualified for European competition.

Muniain watches his strike creep inside the post.
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Muniain watches his strike creep inside the post.JUAN FLORDIARIO AS

Muniain goal takes the pressure off

Pressure: "Of course there is always going to be pressure - it's all or nothing in games like these;  but we had faith in the team and the players showed that out on the pitch. Losing this tie would have been a massive blow".

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Athletic join Villarreal and Real Sociedad in the draw

Thrilled to be in Europe: "I'm very happy because it means Athletic's name will continue to get exposure throughout Europe. We started the game strong and overall we controlled it well; we became more compacty in the second half and that was when we started getting more chances".

Slim result: "It was a shame that we couldn't get a second goal tonight but we were relaxed enough when we were in possession of the ball"

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Athletic and Villarreal in Pot 1

The Europa League group stage draw will take place in Monaco at 13:00 hours CEST on Friday. Athletic and Villarreal will be in Pot 1 while Real Sociedad will be in Pot 2. No two teams from the same country can meet at this stage of the competition.


Arsenal, Zenit, Lyon, Dinamo Kiev, Villarreal, Athletic Club, Lazio, AC Milan, Viktoria Plzen, Salzburg, Copenhagen, Sporting de Braga.


Steaua Bucarest, Ludogorets, BATE Borisov, Everton, Young Boys, Olympique de Marseille, Real Sociedad, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Lokomotiv Mosow, Austria Vienna, Hertha Berlin, Nice.


Astana, Partizan, Cologne, Hoffenheim, Rijeka, Vitoria Guimaraes, Atalanta, Zulte-Waregem, Zorya, Rosenborg, Sheriff Tiraspol, Hapoel Beer Sheva.


Apollon Limassol, Basaksehir Istambul, Konyaspor, Vitesse, Slavia Praga, Red Star Belgrade, Skenderbeu, Zlin, AEK Athens, Lugano, Vardar Skopje, Östersunds.


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