Bilbao seal Champions League spot with win

Bilbao seal Champions League spot with win
Athletic Bilbao's players and supporters celebrate the club's return to the Champions League after beating Rayo Vallecano. AFP Photo/Dani Pozo
Athletic Bilbao ensured they will be Spain's fourth representative in the Champions League next season with a 3-0 win over Rayo Vallecano on Friday.

First-half goals from Mikel San Jose and Oscar de Marcos put the Basques in control before Ander Herrera added a third 16 minutes from time.

Victory moves Athletic nine points clear of Europa League finalists Sevilla with three games to play, but their superior head-to-head record over the Andalusians means they now cannot be caught.

However, Ernesto Valverde's men will have one qualifying round to go through in August if they are to make it into the group stages.

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