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First Division - Day 36

Rayo Vallecano 0 - Athletic Bilbao 3

Rayo: Rubén; Arbilla, Zé Castro, Gálvez (Seba Fernández 67’), Nacho; Saúl Ñíguez, Trashorras (Longo 74’); Rochina (Adrià Embarba 36’), Alberto Bueno, Iago Falqué; Larrivey. 4-2-3-1.
Athletic: Iraizoz; Iraola, San José, Laporte, Balenziaga; Iturraspe, Mikel Rico; De Marcos, Ander Herrera (Erik Morán 81’), Susaeta (Guillermo 88‘); Aduríz (Toquero 83’). 4-2-3-1.

0-1. 20. San José. Poked shot in to net after Rubén misread Susaeta corner.
0-2. 30. De Marcos. Forced low shot under keeper after corner cameo ut to him.
0-3. 74. Ander Herrera. Curled free kick over defensive wall in off foot of post.

Yellow cards: Larrivey 45’, Saúl Ñíguez 46’, Arbilla 49’, Zé Castro 73’, Aduríz 76’.

Athletic Bilbao made sure of their place in next season’s Champions League qualifying round after beating Rayo Vallecano 0-3 in this week’s Friday night game. There was a festive atmosphere in Vallecas, the home side having already assured another season in the top flight last weekend, and there was a fifteen minutes delay as ground staff had to clear toilet rolls and other items which the local fans threw on to the pitch in their celebrations. Athletic wanted to tie up fourth spot as quickly as possible though, and Mikel Rico and Aduríz both went close following corner kicks before Rubén misread another Susaeta corner, and San José poked the ball in to the net. That was in the twentieth minute, and ten minutes later De Marcos made it two with a low shot under the keeper after yet another corner came out to him, the game delayed once again as a barrier in front of the jubilant Bilbao fans collapsed (luckily without serious consequences). Iraizoz had to make saves from Nacho and Trashorras either side of half time as Paco Jémez’s side looked to get back in the game, but with a quarter of an hour to go Ander Herrera wrapped things up with a well struck free kick which went in off the foot of the post. Athletic are back at the top level, although the Rayo fans hardly noticed. Their battle is already won.