Villarreal overcome Athletic

10-man Villarreal picked up an important three points in their 3-1 win over Athletic Club on Friday evening.

Victor Ruiz opened the scoring at the Estadio de la Ceramica after 17 minutes before a 20th minute equaliser from Adraymeric Laporte.

Cedric Bakambu restored Villarreal's lead on 47 minutes with Adrian adding a third on the hour mark – before Ruiz was dismissed on 74 minutes.

Villarreal started brightly and were soon ahead when Ruiz powered home from the right-hand side into the bottom-left corner of the net.

Athletic responded almost immediately with Laporte picking up a Benat Etxebarria cross to find the bottom left corner of the Villarreal net.

Both sides enjoyed a number of good first-half chances, but it was Villarreal next on target, after the restart as Bakambu raced onto a Roberto Soriano throughball before slotting home.

The visitors struggled to create much in the way of clear-cut chances before Lopez headed in a third for Villarreal on 58 minutes, Ruiz with the assist from a well-worked free-kick.

Ruiz was then dismissed for a reckless challenge, but the loss of a player didn't appear to effect the Europa League-chasing side who held on for the win.

The result left Villarreal in fifth place on 54 points, four points behind fourth-placed Sevilla.

Athletic are just one place further down the standings, but on 50 points from their 31 matches played.