La Liga - Valencia keep Champions League hopes alive

Sat, 16 Apr 20:25:00 2011

Valencia improved their chances of securing third place and automatic qualification for next season's Champions League when they won 3-0 at bottom club Almeria in La Liga.

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Second-half goals from in-form striker Roberto Soldado, defender Marius Stankevicius and substitute Jordi Alba sealed victory for Unai Emery's side and lifted them to 63 points.

With six matches left, Valencia are nine points ahead of fourth-placed Villarreal who host Real Zaragoza on Monday.

Almeria remain rooted to the foot of the standings, four points behind Hercules ahead of their game at Levante on Sunday, and seven behind Zaragoza and Malaga.

Sevilla's bid for a berth in next season's Europa League suffered a setback when they lost 1-0 at relegation-threatened Getafe.

The defeat gives Athletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid and Espanyol a chance to climb above the Andalusians, who have 46 points, when they play on Sunday.

Bilbao (45 points) are at struggling Osasuna, while Espanyol (44) host Atletico (45) in the late kick-off.

Getafe's Miku netted the only goal in the 76th minute at the Coliseum stadium on the outskirts of Madrid, firing home after the Sevilla defence failed to deal with a looping pass to the Venezuelan striker.

With only nine points separating ninth from 19th in a congested bottom half of the table, Getafe climbed to 12th on 37 points ahead of Sunday's games.

Malaga's Julio Baptista struck twice on his return from injury to help secure a 3-0 win at home to Real Mallorca that lifted them out of the relegation places into 17th.


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