Spanish Primera Division report: Valencia 3 Eibar 1
Last Updated: 03/05/15 8:40pm
Valencia eased their way to a 3-1 win at home to Eibar to tighten their grip on the fourth Champions League spot.
Nicolas Otamendi headed Nuno Espirito Santo's side in front on 25 minutes and Dani Parejo and Paco Alcacer extended the hosts' advantage with goals in the second half, with Mikel Arruabarrena getting a late consolation goal for the Basques.
This comfortable result sees Nuno's side go three points clear of Sevilla, capitalising on their 3-2 defeat to Real Madrid on Saturday, and they are two wins away from Champions League football.
Eibar, meanwhile, remain in deep trouble on 31 points and hovering above the relegation zone.
Valencia have made a habit of fast starts at Mestalla this season, but it took them a while to find their range on Sunday evening.
Alcacer, once again preferred in attack to Alvaro Negredo, had the best chance of the opening 20 minutes, forcing Xabi Irureta into a routine save.
The home side soon began to increase the pressure, though, and the opening goal arrived midway through the first half.
Impressive young left-back Jose Luis Gaya was allowed far too much time to pick out a cross, which allowed to him to deliver an inch perfect ball on to the head of Otamendi, who headed home his fourth goal of the season.
Rodrigo De Paul came close to adding a second before the break, only to see Irureta force the ball behind for a corner.
Eibar have been slipping towards the bottom three since January now and they were powerless to halt that slide as Valencia clicked through the gears in the second half.
Parejo doubled Los Che's lead with a deflected effort in the 56th minute from outside the area and he was involved again when Alcacer wrapped up the points 20 minutes later.
De Paul had already threatened to score his side's third when Parejo's free-kick bounced handily back off the post into the path of the unmarked Alcacer, who tapped home his ninth goal of an injury-hit campaign.
A mix-up between Andres Gomes and Shkodran Mustafi did allow the visitors to score a late consolation through Arruabarrena, beautifully assisted by Angel, but there was to be no rousing comeback.
Valencia held out to record their 15th home win of the season and move on to 72 points, which is more than they have earned in any season since they won the title under Rafa Benitez in 2004.