Espanyol beats Athletic, jumps to second in Spanish league

MADRID (AP) — Espanyol continued to show its strength at home, defeating Athletic Bilbao 1-0 on Monday to move from fifth to second in the Spanish league, just behind city rival Barcelona.

Striker Borja Iglesias scored a first-half winner to give Espanyol its fifth win in as many matches at its RCDE Stadium.

The victory moved Espanyol within three points of the lead after its closest rivals faltered during the weekend. Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and Alaves — which were ahead of Espanyol — all failed to win and are one point behind Espanyol. Barcelona won at Rayo Vallecano to stay ahead.

Espanyol hadn’t won in two straight matches and was coming off a loss at second-division club Cadiz in the Copa del Rey.

Meanwhile, Athletic still hasn’t won since the league’s first round. It is just outside the relegation zone.

Athletic’s next match is at Atletico Madrid, while Espanyol visits third-place Sevilla.