Valencia took control of the battle for the final Champions League qualifying place in La Liga by beating visitors Alaves 3-1 to climb above Getafe into fourth place on Sunday. Getafe's 2-0 defeat at Barcelona means Valencia are level with them on 58 points and one game to go but have a better head-to-head record against the Madrid side. Marcelino's side, who endured a painful Europa League semifinal defeat by Arsenal on Thursday, made a slow start in front of a nervous Mestalla crowd and fell behind early on when Ximo Navarro headed home. Valencia struggled to create chances but were gifted an equaliser when Carlos Soler raced onto the loose ball after visiting defender Ruben Duarte's attempted header back to goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco fell short. Three minutes later the hosts were in front when Santi Mina headed in Dani Parejo's corner before strike partner Kevin Gameiro scored with a back-post header 20 minutes from time. Valencia travel to Real Valladolid in the final game of the season next Saturday, while Getafe host Villarreal.
Football LA LIGA