Valencia boosted their UEFA Champions League hopes with a clinical 2-1 victory today over Athletic Bilbao, who dominated the encounter. The visitors anticipated a rough ride at San Mames which has been a fortress for Athletic this season and that's how it turned out with Fernando Llorente giving them an early lead.
Athletic looked comfortably in control and Pablo Hernandez and David Lopez had further chances before Llorente hit the post. However, against the run of play a fine move down the right-wing gave way to a Joaquin Sanchez cross for Juan Mata to equalise and then while Athletic were still reeling, Tino Costa struck a powerful shot which the keeper Gorka Iraizoz couldn't hold and substitute Jonas Goncalves scored.
The result extends Valencia four points ahead of Villarreal, who tied 2-2 with Racing Santandar today.