Villarreal defeat Bilbao

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:51 IST

Villarreal moved up to third place in La Liga with a 3-1 win over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

Villarreal:

Villarreal moved up to third place in La Liga with a 3-1 win over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday. Going into the match at El Madrigal, Villarreal had only lost once at home in La Liga all season. It soon became obvious that that record wasn't about to be seriously impaired. Within 12 minutes they'd gone ahead again visiting Athletic Bilbao, Jose Mari opening the scoring. Ten minutes later though, Santiago Ezquerro levelled the scores. Heading home Jose Mari rose to head home Juan Roman Riquelme's inswinging corner at the near post after 32 minutes to restore Villarreal's lead, and it stood 2-1 at the interval. Events on the world stage then intervened, and the news of Pope John Paul II's death came in during the first half. Before the restart, the players and crowd in the predominantly Roman Catholic country observed a minute's silence in honour of the pontiff. Villarreal threatened to overrun Athletic in the second half. But the only further impression they could make on the scoreline was through Diego Forlan. The Uruguayan's 57th minute strike drew him level with Samuel Eto'o at the top of the scoring charts with 18 league goals. The woodwork twice within seconds prevented Villarreal from giving the scoreline a more emphatic veneer. However, 3-1 would suffice, taking Manuel Pellegrini's men into third place - and a step closer to securing a Champions League berth. (AP)

Topics : Football Villarreal
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