BILBAO, Spain (AP) — Athletic Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz scored one goal and set up another in a 3-1 win over Espanyol at San Mames Stadium on Friday, as the Basque side consolidated its turnaround in the Spanish league.

Bilbao's repeated attacks down the right side led to a corner kick by Markel Susaeta that Aduriz headed off Espanyol's Christian Stuani and into the net in the 29th minute.

Aduriz, just back from missing two games with a muscle injury, helped double the lead in the 44th when he gracefully dribbled through the defense before slipping a throughball for Borja Viguera to tap home.

Bilbao midfielder Ander Iturraspe scored from long distance in the 78th, with the ball going in off the post, before Victor Sanchez got the visitors' consolation goal in the 84th.

"They are a complicated rival that packs their defense in at the back, but the first goal opened up more spaces for us and the second goal put us in control," Viguera said.

After a poor start to the season that has left it without hopes of advancing from the Champions League group phase, Ernesto Valverde's side appears to have turned the corner with only the domestic competition to focus on.

Bilbao extended its unbeaten streak in the Spanish league to five games and rose into a provisional ninth place.

Espanyol had won at Bilbao the past two seasons, but Sergio Gonzalez's side was outclassed from the start and only showed a semblance of an organized attack when already losing 2-0.

The Barcelona-based club remained in 12th place before the rest of the round's games and is winless in five matches.

"We tried to run a lot, but they beat us in intensity and knowing how they wanted to play," said Sanchez. "We were never comfortable. Overall, they were just better."

On Saturday, leader Real Madrid visits Eibar, while second-place Barcelona hosts Sevilla.