Last Update 14:30
Monday, 02 August 2021

Valencia close on top-four finish with Alaves win

Reuters , Saturday 17 Mar 2018
Valencia's Brazil born Spanish forward Rodrigo Moreno (C) vies with Alaves' Brazilian defender Rodrigo Ely (R) during the Spanish League football match between Valencia CF and Deportivo Alaves at the Mestalla stadium AFP

Valencia continued their impressive form by beating Alaves 3-1 at home in La Liga on Saturday to climb above Real Madrid into third in the standings and take another step towards returning to the Champions League.

Spain international Rodrigo Moreno put Marcelino's side ahead in the 19th minute by playing a smart one-two off strike partner Simone Zaza and sliding the ball home from close range.

Italian forward Zaza turned in a free kick from Daniel Parejo to consolidate his side's lead in the 34th, although Ruben Sobrino gave Alaves a foothold in the game by getting a goal back four minutes into the second half.

Hopes of a comeback from the Basque side were short-lived, however, as defender Victor Laguardia diverted a cross into his own net five minutes later, sealing a sixth win for Valencia in seven games.

Valencia are third in the standings after 29 games with 59 points, two above Real who host Girona on Sunday, and 14 clear of fifth-placed Sevilla who go to Leganes.

Marcelino's side will qualify automatically for next season's Champions League by finishing in the top four.

Leaders Barcelona host Athletic Bilbao on Sunday and second-placed Atletico Madrid play at Villarreal.

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