MADRID - Athletic Bilbao's bid for a berth
in next season's Europa League stuttered when they lost 2-1 at
Espanyol on Monday.
The defeat meant Barcelona-based Espanyol, whose coach
Mauricio Pochettino signed a two-year contract extension on
Sunday, closed within three points of seventh-placed Bilbao with
four games left in La Liga.
Sevilla and Atletico Madrid are fifth and sixth respectively
on 52 points, Bilbao have 51 and Espanyol 48.
The teams finishing fifth, sixth and seventh qualify for the
There was no change at the top as leaders Barcelona and
second-placed Real Madrid lost on Saturday ahead of their
Champions League semi-final second leg at the Nou Camp on
Barca, 2-0 up in the Champions League, have an eight-point
lead over their arch rivals and are closing in on a third
straight La Liga title.
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