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Espanyol jumps to second with win over Athletic

Real Madrid CF v RCD Espanyol - La Liga

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 22: Joan Francesc Ferrer Rubi, head coach of RCD Espanyol signals to a player during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and RCD Espanyol at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 22, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images,)

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The upper echelon of the La Liga table will read Espanyol’s name for at least a week after Rubi’s group topped Athletic Bilbao 1-0 behind the fourth goal for Borja Iglesias in his last three matches.

There were plenty of big moments in the match, but only one of them was capitalized upon, as Iglesias was unmarked at the far post and headed a Dídac Vilá delivery across the face of goal past Iago Herrerin for the game’s lone goal.

Diego Lopez was forced into a diving save just before halftime as Raul Garcia ripped one from outside the box. That was Athletic’s best chance missed, while Aritz Aduriz also had a massive chance to level in the 62nd minute as he received a cutback from Oscar de Marcos near the middle of the penalty area but rolled his shot weakly straight to Lopez. Inaki Williams also hit the post just before halftime for the visitors.

The win catapulted Espanyol back above Sevilla, Atletico Madrid, and Alaves - who all drew this weekend - into second place on 21 points, three behind league leaders Barcelona. On the other side of things, Athletic sits just one point above the relegation zone in 17th after the loss.

The victory for Espanyol sets up an enticing matchup next weekend as they travel to third-placed Sevilla.

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