Bilbao beats Almeria 3-1 in Spanish league

Bilbao beats Almeria 3-1 in Spanish league

Published Apr. 5, 2011 12:49 p.m. ET

Athletic Bilbao moved up to fifth place in the Spanish league on Monday by coming from behind to win 3-1 at last-place Almeria.

Almeria led in the sixth minute when Pablo Piatti raced through the defense before beating goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz.

Iker Muniain equalized for Bilbao in the 29th, rifling in the rebound after goalkeeper Diego Alves had failed to hold a shot.

The hosts tried to respond with their passing game, but Bilbao led 2-1 when Gaizka Toquero slotted under Alves with a left-footed strike in the 52nd.


Pablo Orbaiz hit a long-range shot from near the midfield circle to catch Alves off his line in the 60th.

"(We let) Almeria impose their rhythm in the first 15 minutes, but then we got control of the ball," Bilbao coach Joaquin Caparros said.

Bilbao's first away win in five games took it level on points with sixth-place Sevilla and nine points behind fourth-place Villarreal.

"We knew (Almeria) was a team that was playing for its life," Caparros said. "It is important that we have fought to change the image of team away from home."

Almeria's first loss in seven games at Juegos Mediterreanos stadium left it four points from safety with eight rounds to play.

"We can't allow the team to fall apart. The point difference is not unsalvageable," Almeria coach Jose Luis Oltra said.

On the weekend, front-runner Barcelona beat Villarreal 1-0 to open up an eight-point lead over Real Madrid after Jose Mourinho's side lost its first home match of the season, going down 1-0 to Sporting Gijon.

Also, third-place Valencia moved three points ahead of Villarreal through a 4-2 win at Getafe.