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Spanish Primera BBVA

San Mames (ATT 30,000) 21st October 2013 - Kick off 21:00 Ref: Jose Antonio Teixeira Vitienes

Ath Bilbao Athletic Bilbao vs Villarreal Villarreal

Ath Bilbao 2

Mikel Rico (33)
A Aduriz (35)

ft

Villarreal 0

Bruno (S/O 45+2)

Bilbao halt Villarreal's charge

Last Updated: 21/10/13 11:24pm

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Bilbao celebrate Mikel Rico's opening goal

Bilbao celebrate Mikel Rico's opening goal

Athletic Bilbao stopped the charge of high-flying Villarreal in a key battle of likely European contenders at the new Estadio San Mames.

Two quickfire goals a little after the half-hour mark were all Athletic needed as they edged a game of few chances 2-0.

Moreno Mikel Rico headed in the opener in the 33rd minute and two minutes later Aritz Aduriz fired in a second.

Villarreal's comeback hopes were hampered by a red card for Bruno Soriano moments before half-time.

The win moves Athletic up to sixth in the table, one point behind Villarreal who remain fourth.

Chances were slow to come in the game. The first real sight of goal came for Aduriz in the 18th minute but he headed wide before Rico fired a shot left.

They made the breakthrough when Andoni Iraola crossed from the right and Rico rose to head across goal.

Villarreal had barely regrouped when Aduriz leathered home a low shot from the edge of the area, putting the hosts in complete control.

The visitors' frustrations boiled over as Soriano was booked for dissent soon after, earning a red when he fouled Markel Susaeta in first-half stoppage time.

In keeping with the first half, the second 45 minutes was slow to get going, the first chance of note coming when Carlos Gurpegi headed over in the 58th minute.

Villarreal were still able to muster the odd opening despite their numerical disadvantage, with Giovani Dos Santos seeing a shot parried by Gorka Iraizoz before the goalkeeper blocked another effort from Ruben Cani.

But Athletic were still in control and had further chances with Mikel San Jose heading over from a free-kick and Iker Munain seeing his shot saved by Andres Asenjo.

As it was they had already done enough to claim an important win over a rival.

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Matches

Table

Spanish Primera BBVA

Spanish Primera BBVA
Pos Team P Pts
1 Atletico Madrid 38 90
2 Barcelona 38 87
3 Real Madrid 38 87
4 Athletic Bilbao 38 70
5 Sevilla 38 63
6 Villarreal 38 59
7 Real Sociedad 38 59
8 Valencia 38 49
9 Celta Vigo 38 49
10 Levante 38 48
11 Malaga 38 45
12 Rayo Vallecano 38 43
13 Getafe 38 42
14 Espanyol 38 42
15 Granada 38 41
16 Elche 38 40
17 Almeria 38 40
18 Osasuna 38 39
19 Real Valladolid 38 36
20 Real Betis 38 25