Liga - In-form Valencia overcome Rayo
Despite a late fightback from the home side Valencia secured a 2-1 victory over Rayo Vallecano at Vallecas in La Liga to cement third place.
Rayo had the better of a keenly contested first-half but were a goal behind at half-time following a crisp strike from Jonas with a little over twenty minutes gone.
Los Che had the better of the early part of the second period and doubled their advantage when Tino Costa swept home from outside the box following a quick break down the right.
José Ramón Sandoval's men continued to probe and their persistence was rewarded when Raul Tamudo - a second-half substitute - remained composed to slot past Diego Alves with 84 minutes on the clock.
Triguero Tito missed a gilt-edged chance to salvage a draw for the home side but lashed wide with the last kick of the game after breaking the offside trap.
Having lost only one of their last five matches coming into this fixture, newly-promoted Rayo sat in the top half of the Primera Division but the coming week could prove pivotal to their survival hopes with Sandoval’s men away to Barcelona midweek before facing Atletico Madrid next weekend.
And they were facing a rampant Valencia who shook off the disappointment of defeat at home to Real Madrid last weekend by thrashing Genk 7-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday, but it was the home side who had the better of the first-half opportunities.
Diego Alves was the busier of the goalkeepers before and after Jonas broke the deadlock - doing particularly well to push wide a Alejandro Arribas Garrido header that looked destined to find the back of the net but a sweet Jonas finish ensured that the visitors went to the interval with the advantage.
It was much of the same in the second-half with Diego Alves pushing a Andrija Delibašić header around the post before Tino doubled his side's advantage.
Rayo's continual probing was rewarded late on when veteran Tamudo scored a poacher's goal but Rayo were unable to salvage the draw despite the last minute opportunity that fell to Tito.