First Division - Day 35

Athletic Bilbao 2 - Zaragoza 0

Athletic: Aranzubia; Iraola, Lacruz, Luis Prieto, Del Horno; Gurpegui, Orbaiz; Etxeberría (Murillo 86'), Tiko, Ezquerro (Yeste 59'); Urzaiz (Llorente 71'). 4-2-3-1.
Luis García; Ponzio, Alvaro, Milito, Aranzábal; Movilla; Cani (Galletti 46'), Zapater (Camacho 85'), Generelo (Oscar González 66'), Savio; David Villa. 4-1-4-1.

Team changes: Athletic: Iraola, Luis Prieto, Etxeberría, Urzaiz for Murillo, Casas, Yeste, Llorente / Zaragoza: Ponzio, Alvaro for Capi, Oscar González.

1-0. 53. Urzaiz. Fired shot into top of net after Etxeberría passed in from left.
2-0. 83. Lacruz. Turned ball into net after Etxeberría headed on Yeste free kick.

Athletic Bilbao kept their hopes of European football next year alive with a 2-0 win over rivals Zaragoza, who drop below them in the table as a result. Despite their cup semi-final next week, Valverde put out a strong side, with Etxeberría and Urzaiz leading the attack. And the winger in particular was a constant menace for the visiting defence, keeper Luis García lucky to be let off with a yellow card after he brought him down outside of the area early on, and then turning a dangerous shot away for a corner.

Aranzubia was in action at the other end to stop an effort from Movilla, but soon afterwards the locals thought they had scored when Ezquerro headed Iraola's cross into the net, referee Teixeira Vitienes ruling out the strike for a positional offside of Gurpegui. However the last chance of the first half fell to the visitors, Aranzubia keeping out a header from David Villa and Zapater putting the rebound over the bar.

The Basque side finally opened the scoring in the second half, Urzaiz putting them ahead after connecting with Etxeberría's cross to beat Luis García. The visiting keeper did well to stop Yeste and Urzaiz from increasing the lead, but Savio and Villa could both have equalised later on. Lacruz wrapped things up though seven minutes from the end after Etxeberría headed on Yeste's free kick to take his side up to eighth spot, just two points off the UEFA cup positions.