Real Zaragoza kept alive their chances of survival with a deserved 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao thanks to goals in either half from Edu Oriol and Apono.
After an initial early spell of pressure from the visitors, Zaragoza controlled the first period and were unlucky not to be in front midway through the half when Helder Postiga struck the inside of the post with a fine shot from outside the area.
Moments later though they did take the lead as Oriol waltzed through the Bilbao defence unchallenged and slotted calmly past Gorka Iraizoz.
Apono doubled the hosts' advantage six minutes after the break with a swerving free-kick that Iraizoz will have disappointed to see slip through his grasp and the final score could have been even more as Franco Zuculini also saw an effort come back off the bar with 10 minutes to go.
The win moved Zaragoza back up to 18th and within four points of safety with three games to go, while with Real Madrid to face in midweek Athletic's chances of Champions League qualification look almost over.
Athletic boss Marcelo Bielsa opted to rest Fernando Llorente, Iker Muniain and Javi Martinez after their exertions in the 3-1 win over Sporting Lisbon that earned his side a place in the Europa League final on Thursday, and their absence told as Zaragoza looked the hungrier and fresher side throughout.
Postiga's movement caused the Athletic defence problems and the Portugal international came within inches of opening the scoring after 26 minutes as he turned 20 yards from a goal and sent a rasping shot that flew past Iraizoz but came back off the post and away to safety.
Two minutes later Zaragoza were deservedly in front as some awful Bilbao defending allowed Oriol to carry the ball through midfield unchallenged before clinically side-footing past Iraizoz.
However, the hosts only retained their lead until the break thanks to a wonderful goal-line clearance from Pablo Alvarez after Oscar de Marcos drilled a loose ball inside the area towards goal.
Having survived that scare, though, Manolo Jimenez's side took complete control of the game just after half-time as Iraizoz failed to get his body behind Apono's free-kick and the ball squirmed over the line.
Bielsa introduced Llorente and Muniain but, with Zaragoza able to defend deep and hit on the counter, neither of the Spain internationals had much of an impact.
Indeed, Zuculini was unfortunate not to round of a fine afternoon for the Aragonese side when he ran from inside his own half and skipped past the challenge of Borja Ekiza before crashing the ball off the crossbar.