BILBAO, Spain (AP) — Athletic Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz scored goals at the start of each half to help the Basque club beat Malaga 3-0 on Monday, strengthening its hold on Spain's final Champions League berth.
Bilbao dominated the one-sided match at its New San Mames Stadium, with Malaga never able to counter the hosts' up-tempo attack.
Aduriz took his first goal four minutes in when he shook his marker to head in Markel Susaeta's corner kick at the near post.
Aduriz tapped in another Susaeta pass seconds after halftime, and Ander Herrera hit from long range in the 62nd.
Aduriz's double increased his team-leading tally to 15 goals in league play this season.
The win restored Bilbao's hold on fourth place. Sevilla was left six points behind with five rounds to play.
"We are satisfied because we needed to take these three points," Aduriz said. "There are still many points in play and we need to earn as many as we can because other teams are coming on strong behind us."
Malaga remained in 11th place at seven points above the relegation zone.
Atletico Madrid leads the league by three points over Real Madrid, with Barcelona another point behind.
Madrid and Barcelona meet in the Copa del Rey final in Valencia on Wednesday before the league returns on Friday.