Celta Vigo were beaten for the fifth time in six La Liga games, going down 3-0 at home to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday with the Galicians distracted by Thursday's Europa League semifinal against Manchester United.
Eduardo Berizzo made nine changes from the side that started Thursday's 2-1 defeat at Sevilla and Athletic's greater desire for the points showed as they boosted their bid to qualify for next season's Europa League.
Raul Garcia struck either side of halftime before Mikel Rico wrapped up a vital three points for the visitors to take them above Basque rivals Real Sociedad into sixth.
Elsewhere, Leganes failed to take a step closer to survival as they were beaten 2-0 at Eibar.
Alaves came from a goal down to thrash Real Betis 4-1.
And Deportivo la Coruna moved eight points clear of the relegation zone with just three games remaining thanks to a 2-2 draw at already relegated Osasuna.
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