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Sevilla close gap on top four with victory over Bilbao

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Madrid (AFP)

Sevilla kept alive their hopes of a top-four finish in La Liga by easing to a 2-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

Two goals in five first-half minutes from Luis Muriel and Franco Vazquez were enough for Sevilla, who play Manchester United later this month in the second leg of the Champions League last 16.

They head to Old Trafford after being held to a goalless draw in the first leg.

Vincenzo Montella's side face a fight, however, to qualify for the competition again next season, their victory over Bilbao closing the gap behind fourth-placed Valencia to five points.

Valencia host Real Betis on Sunday.

Elsewhere, Villarreal's ambitions of securing European football next season also took a knock as they were beaten 2-0 at home to Girona.

Girona sit seventh, but now just one point behind their opponents, who were undone by goals from Christian Stuani and substitute Anthony Lozano.

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