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Double for Berchiche as Athletic Bilbao hammer Mallorca

EPA PHOTO

A first-half double from Yuri Berchiche has helped Athletic Bilbao beat Mallorca 4-0 and return to winning ways after a recent stumble in the Spanish league.

Athletic were unbeaten in November and December but lost to Valencia on January 20 and drew 0-0 at Cadiz last weekend.

However, Berchiche had the San Mames Stadium rocking after just three minutes when he flicked on a free kick from Nico Williams.

Berchiche scored only once all season before Friday, and after waiting 11 games to score a second he got a third just 13 minutes later, with a neat side-foot finish from a corner kick.

Gorka Guruzeta added a third after 62 minutes when he got on the end of a low cross from Iñaki Williams, and Iker Muniain made it 4-0 two minutes from time.

The result consolidated Bilbao's fifth position and opened a nine-point gap to Real Sociedad in sixth. Sociedad are at second-placed Girona on Saturday.

Mallorca remained 15th, just four points above the relegation zone.