Bilbao boost Euro bid
Athletic Bilbao boosted their UEFA Champions League hopes with a 4-3 victory over Racing Santander.
Last Updated: 29/03/10 10:03pm
Athletic Bilbao boosted their hopes of UEFA Champions League football with a 4-3 victory over struggling Racing Santander.
Bilbao halted a three-game winless run with Monday night's incident-packed success and are now only two points adrift of fourth-placed Real Mallorca in the Primera Liga table.
The home side forged ahead in the 13th minute when Fernando Llorente headed home after being found in the area by Igor Gabilondo's cross.
And the San Mames faithful had even more reason to celebrate just five minutes later when Llorente turned provider for Gaizka Toquero to tap home.
Racing responded and pulled a goal back before the break when Mohammed Tchite found the net following Gonzalo Colsa's through ball.
The hosts looked to have made sure of the points 11 minutes from time when Llorente picked himself up to fire home from the penalty spot after being felled by Christian Fernandez.
Racing refused to lie down and halved the deficit almost immediately as Ivan Bolado put the finishing touch to Mehdi Lacen's cross.
But their hopes of a dramatic comeback were dashed when defender Oriol saw red after two bookings in three minutes, with Markel Susaeta adding a fourth two minutes from time after being set up by Andoni Iraola.
There was still time for substitute Bolado to bag his second of night in a frantic finale before the final whistle went on a seven-goal thriller.
The visitors saw their four-game unbeaten run come to and end and they remain just six points above the relegation zone with nine games of the season remaining.