Athletic go into break well-placed towards the top of the table thanks to Guruzeta's goals
Athletic Club thrashed Real Valladolid CF 3-0 at San Mamés thanks to a Gorka Guruzeta brace and a header by Dani Vivian. The win puts Ernesto Valverde's side back among the European fight and, no hiccups in the Copa match against UD Alzira withstanding, it ensures the Lions leave on a high note for the World Cup break.
Gorka Guruzeta, who seems keen to make the most of his opportunities, was Athletic's main attacking threat from the outset. He fired a warning shot in the 13th minute, a header from a decent Oscar de Marcos cross just missing the target.
The no.12 followed that up with his first goal of the night. Set up by Iñaki Williams with a low cutback, Jordi Masip blocked Guruzeta's initial effort, but the striker pounced on the rebound to put Athletic ahead.
The goal stunned the visitors, who had started strongly, and Los Rojiblancos could have scored more before the break. Nico Williams had an effort saved and then De Marcos hit the side-netting after being played through by Oihan Sancet. Iñaki Williams then had a strike ruled out for offside.
Valverde's lads set about putting the game to bed in the second half. Mikel Vesga, aggressive in the press, stole possession and thread through a pass for Guruzeta to score with a great finish across the face of goal. It Gorka's fifth goal of the campaign, moving him level with Iñaki as the team's top scorer.
Valladolid looked to pull one back via Alvaro Aguado, but it was Athletic who seemed more likely to score again. Sancet cut a pass through the visiting defence to put Iñaki through on goal, but the no.9 could not get it over Masip.
A great night to see out the year at San Mamés and now we move on to the Copa. The four under-17 women's world champions who took a ceremonial kick-off (Marina Artero, Jone Amezaga, Eunate Astralaga and Sara Ortega) were all smiles. This was a night they will never forget.