Athletic sign off in style
Athletic Bilbao qualified for the Europa League in emphatic fashion by cruising to a 4-0 win at home to Villarreal.
Aritz Aduriz scored the first and last goal of an emotional evening at San Mames, while veteran defender Andoni Iraola bid farewell to his 12-year career with Athletic by scoring the second goal, and Benat also got on the scoresheet.
Although a total of four teams went into the final game of the season aiming to clinch seventh spot and the European place that comes with it, Athletic started the day in seventh and knew that all they needed to do was beat Villarreal to get the job done.
Having sealed sixth place three weeks earlier, Villarreal had nothing to play for, and they were without a total of nine players through injury and suspension.
All these factors combined to produce a game which Athletic utterly dominated. Inaki Williams, Ager Aketxe and Benat all had opportunities to open the scoring in the opening quarter of an hour, but the first goal arrived from usual suspect Aduriz, who scored from the spot after being brought down in the area by Bojan Jokic.
The scorer then turned provider as a clever move from Aduriz allowed Iraola to beat goalkeeper Juan Carlos to score his first goal of the season and his last for Athletic.
With 10 minutes to go before the break, Benat took the euphoric feeling inside San Mames to another level with a perfectly executed free-kick.
And then on the hour mark Aduriz scored his 18th goal of the season, freeing himself of his marker with a clever manoeuvre before burying the ball in the net.