Fight for Europa League spots intensifies in Spain

AP , Saturday 1 Apr 2017

Europa League

Away victories by Eibar and Athletic Bilbao intensified the fight for Europa League spots in the Spanish league on Saturday.

Eibar ended a four-match winless streak by defeating Villarreal 3-2 with Japan international Takashi Inui scoring what turned out to be the winning goal. Athletic won 2-1 at last-placed Osasuna with goals by Aritz Aduriz and Inaki Williams.

The results left four clubs within five points or less of fifth-placed Villarreal, currently the first team securing a spot in the second-tier European competition.

The sixth-placed team will also play in the Europa League next season, and the seven-placed side may earn a spot if Barcelona defeats Alaves in the Copa del Rey final in May.

Villarreal and Real Sociedad have 48 points each, Athletic moved to 47 and Eibar to 44. Espanyol reached 43 points after a late come-from-behind win over Real Betis on Friday.

Atletico Madrid, which plays at Malaga later Saturday, is fourth with 55 points - two less than third-placed Sevilla, which hosts Sporting Gijon on Sunday.

Leader Real Madrid and second-placed Barcelona also play their matches on Sunday.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link: