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Spanish Primera BBVA

The Vallecas - Teresa Rivero (ATT 12,500) 2nd May 2014 - Kick off 20:00 Ref: Fernandez Borbalan

R Vallecano Rayo Vallecano vs Athletic Bilbao Ath Bilbao


Ath Bilbao 3

M San Jose (21)
O de Marcos (30)
A Herrera (73)

Bilbao seal top-four finish

Last Updated: 02/05/14 11:12pm

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Mikel San Jose and Bilbao celebrate his goal

Mikel San Jose and Bilbao celebrate his goal

Athletic Bilbao convincingly booked their place in next season's Champions League courtesy of a 3-0 win at Rayo Vallecano on Friday night.

Mikel San Jose, Oscar De Marcos and Ander Herrera were on target as fourth-placed Athletic moved nine points clear of nearest challengers Sevilla, who have just three games left to play and an inferior head-to-head record this season.

Defeat for Rayo brought a juddering halt their bid for a third-straight victory that would have taken them up to eighth place in the Primera Division standings.

Athletic coach Ernesto Valverde said his side needed three more points to ensure they would finish the season in fourth after their 3-1 win over Sevilla last week, and they were soon on the offensive in hot pursuit of those points with Mikel Rico and Herrera going close in the opening exchanges.

It took just 21 minutes for the breakthrough to come, Markel Susaeta's corner turned home from close range by the alert San Jose.

Another set-piece was sufficient to unlock the home defence a second time with half an hour played, a Susaeta corner again the key as Rayo's backline failed to clear and De Marcos lashed home.

A listless Rayo briefly sparked into life in the 35th minute when Nacho's hit from Ruben Rochina's centre was punched away Gorka Iraizoz, but that was as much threat as the hosts posed to the visiting goalkeeper in the contest.

The three points targeted by Valverde were wrapped up in with 17 minutes remaining, Herrera dispatching a free-kick into the right corner of Ruben's goal after Ze Castro had hauled down Aritz Aduriz on the edge of the 18-yard box.

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Spanish Primera BBVA

Spanish Primera BBVA
Pos Team P Pts
1 Barcelona 33 81
2 Real Madrid 33 79
3 Atletico Madrid 33 72
4 Sevilla 33 66
5 Valencia 32 65
6 Villarreal 33 53
7 Malaga 33 47
8 Athletic Bilbao 33 46
9 Celta Vigo 33 42
10 Espanyol 33 42
11 Rayo Vallecano 33 41
12 Real Sociedad 33 39
13 Getafe 33 36
14 Elche 33 34
15 Levante 33 32
16 Eibar 33 31
17 Almeria 33 31
18 Deportivo La Coruna 33 29
19 Granada 32 25
20 Cordoba 33 20