Athletic outbattle Valencia
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Etxeberria's delightful 38th minute chip which eluded Che keeper Santiago Canizares was the product of a swift counter-attack by Athletic after Valencia had missed a penalty.
Ruben Baraja was adjudged to have been fouled in the penalty area but Fabio Aurelio's spot kick was superbly saved by Daniel Aranzubia.
Athletic cleared the resulting corner and Santiago Ezquerro burst into the opposing half before freeing Etxeberria to score the decisive goal which eases the Basque outfit's relegation worries.
In the second half, Valencia were reduced to ten men when Mista picked up his second yellow card with the champions' hopes of defending their crown receding with each passing game.
Celta Vigo enhanced their European prospects by stealing a narrow 1-0 victory at Atletico Madrid courtesy of a late Eduardo Berizzo goal.
The Argentine defender struck with three minutes remaining, to hand the Galicians a triumph which moves them three points clear of their opponents in fifth.
Espanyol did their hopes of avoiding the drop from La Liga a power of good by clinching a dramatic 2-1 home triumph over Malaga.
The Catalan side moved clear of the drop-zone, swapping places with Basque side Alaves.
Captain Raul Tamudo put Javier Clemente's side one up on 52 minutes, after the visitors had goalkeeper Pedro Contreras sent off.
However, Joaquin Peiro's men fought back bravely, and looked to have earned a share of the spoils with 13 minutes remaining when Manu fired home.
Tamudo had the last laugh though, slotting home a last-minute penalty to send the Estadi Montjuic into raptures.
Elsewhere in La Primera, matters ended all-square without exception.
Alaves failed to lift themselves out of the drop zone after a stormy 0-0 stalemate at home to Barcelona.
Thiago Motta was sent off on 61 minutes for the visitors and, with a minute remaining, Alaves hard man Oscar Tellez received his marching orders.
Recreativo de Huelva picked up a creditable point away to Real Betis, but still seem doomed to a swift return to La Segunda.
Xisco struck on the hour mark for the visitors to stun the Estadio Manuel Ruiz de Lopera after Capi's early strike had seemed set to open the floodgates for Betis.
Osasuna remain locked in the relegation scrap after a goalless draw at home to Mallorca, while mid-table Valladolid and Sevilla also played out a stalemate without goals to speak of.
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