Girona beats Bilbao 2-1 to escape relegation zone in Spain

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Girona escaped the Spanish league’s relegation zone after beating Athletic Bilbao 2-1 at home on Friday.

The Catalan club ended a seven-game winless run and jumped all the way from 17th to 12th place in the tightly packed bottom half of the table.

Former Espanyol defender David López opened the scoring in the 67th minute by heading in a free kick by Aleix García at the near post.

Iván Martín added a second in the 75th when the substitute midfielder raced down a long ball and fired it between the legs of Spain goalkeeper Unai Simón. Martín was playing his first match in four months after recovering from a broken fibula in his right leg.

“I had the chance to get back out there and enjoy some minutes, and what better way than by scoring,” Martín said.

Substitute Gorka Guruzeta pulled one back for Bilbao in the 79th, but the Basque club never mustered a real threat to grab a late equalizer.

The victory for Girona came after it held Spanish leader Real Madrid to 1-1 in the capital in the last round.

Bilbao remained in sixth place.

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