|First Division - Day 36|
Mallorca 4 - Athletic Bilbao 3
Mallorca: Moya; David
Cortés, Iuliano, Ballesteros, Poli; Farinos (De los Santos 76'),
Pereyra; Campano (Jorge López 80'), Víctor, Arango; Okubo (Tuni
Team changes: Mallorca: Arango, Okubo for Tuni, Luis García / Athletic: Murillo, Casas, Yeste, Llorente for Iraola, Del Horno, Etxeberría, Urzaiz.
Athletic Bilbao's chances of returning to Europe next season are all but over after they were defeated 4-3 by a Mallorca side who are fighting for survival. The Basques' midweek cup defeat meant they only had the league to play for, but they fell behind to a Farinós penalty after Okubo fell in the area under a challenge by Lacruz. And it could have been worse had Aranzubia not kept out headers from Víctor and Okubo a few minutes after the goal.
Athletic fought back though to take the lead before the break, Llorente picking up a pass from Arriaga to beat his Spanish under 21 colleague Moyà with a shot on the turn, and Gurpegui heading in a Tiko corner three minutes later. And they could have gone further ahead before half time had referee Velasco Carballo not turned down appeals for a penalty after Iuliano brought down Llorente in the area.
The game turned again though at the beginning of the second half, Víctor squaring the match again with a shot which ballooned off Murillo over the head of Aranzubia, and Okubo heading his side in front after good work by Campano. Orbaiz equalised soon afterwards with a magnificent free kick, but within four minutes Víctor had restored the lead again for the locals when he headed Campano's cross past Aranzubia, who got a hand to the ball but could not stop it entering the net.
After that Héctor Cúper's side sat back to defend their position, but there were some nervous moments for the local fans, especially when Llorente went close a couple of minutes from the end. But in the end they took the vital three points, taking them to within one point of Levante. The Valencia based side have a better head-to-head record though, so the Islanders have to get ahead of them if they are to stay up. They won't be sleeping much in Mallorca during the next fortnight.