Athletic leaves Liga relegation zone after beating Celta

MADRID (AP) — Inaki Williams set up a goal in the first half and scored in the second to help Athletic Bilbao escape the Spanish league’s relegation zone with a 2-1 win over Celta Vigo on Monday.

The away victory moved Athletic to 17th place, two points above the relegation zone after 18 matches. The Basque Country club had been among the bottom three since the 13th round.

Williams fed Iker Muniain for the first goal in the 19th minute, and scored the winner on a counterattack in the 54th after Fran Beltran equalized for the hosts just before halftime at Balaidos Stadium.

It was Athletic’s third league win this season, and the first away from home.

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“We needed this victory to boost our confidence,” Muniain said.

Celta, which dropped to 14th place, played without striker Iago Aspas because of an injury. It hasn’t won in three straight games.

Athletic has two consecutive home matches against Sevilla, with the first one on Thursday in the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey.

Celta visits relegation-threatened Rayo Vallecano in the league on Friday.

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