By Andy Hall
Athletic Club Bilbao claimed the honours in the Basque derby with a 3-0 win at home to regional rivals Real Sociedad de Fútbol in the Primera División on Saturday.
Santiago Ezquerro broke the deadlock toward the end of an even first half when he poked in at the far post after Ismael Urzaiz's deflected shot found its way into his path. Fellow midfielder Fran Yeste added a second when he sent a sweetly struck free-kick over the defensive wall and spinning inside the post from 20 metres 15 minutes from time.
Substitute Tiko wrapped up the victory with a third deep into injury time when he drilled in from the edge of the area to the delight of the home crowd at San Mames. The result had no affect on the position of the two sides in the table, however. Bilbao remain tenth with 44 points from 31 matches while La Real are a further five points back in 12th.
CD Numancia boosted their slim hopes of avoiding relegation with a shock 1-0 victory at home to Club Atlético de Madrid. The side from Soria dominated for long periods but seemed unlikely to find the finishing touch until striker Miguel Lopez diverted the ball into the net four minutes from time.
Numancia stay bottom eight points adrift of safety but are now one behind fellow strugglers Albacete Balompié and RCD Mallorca. For Atletico, who had not lost in four games, the defeat dealt a severe blow to their ambitions of returning to Europe and left them three points adrift of the UEFA Cup places in eighth spot.
Toché, on loan from Atletico, created the winner for Numancia when he picked up the ball on the byline to the right of the area. He beat one man and threaded a shot across the goal where Miguel was on hand to direct it in at the far post. The gloss was taken off Numancia's win when midfield player Miguel Perez was dismissed for picking up two bookings in the space of four minutes at the end of the match.
Big two meet
Leaders FC Barcelona can take a major stride towards their first league title in six years when they play arch-rivals Real Madrid FC at the on Sunday. The Catalan side have a nine-point advantage over Real at the top of the table with eight games to play.