Elche 4 Deportivo 0: Four-star Elche boost survival hopes
Last Updated: 30/04/15 12:01am
Elche took another huge step to clinching top-flight survival by easing to a 4-0 win over fellow strugglers Deportivo La Coruna.
Top scorer Jonathas de Jesus put the hosts ahead with just five minutes played and David Lomban doubled the lead from the penalty spot on 19 minutes.
Mario Pasalic stretched Elche's lead further by scoring early in the second half and in injury time Garry Rodrigues rounded off a dominant display to seal the Alicante side's biggest win in the top flight since 1970.
Fran Escriba's side move eight points clear of the relegation zone with just four matches remaining and could seal their top-flight status at Malaga on the weekend, although they are still haunted by the spectre of a possible administrative relegation if they fail to pay off a tax debt of around 5million euro.
Deportivo, meanwhile, now occupy the final place in the relegation zone and have gone 12 matches without a win.
Uncertainty off the pitch has plagued Elche in recent weeks and on Monday Jose Seculpre resigned as president following immense pressure, with Juan Anguix named as his successor the day before this crucial match with Deportivo.
But for the third time in a fortnight, Escriba's men put institutional instability behind them to produce a performance full of confidence and verve.
They dominated the game from the off, and had two chances to score before Jonathas fired them into the lead after a splendid piece of skill and cut-back from Damian Suarez.
It was the Brazilian's 11th goal of the season and he celebrated in an unusual manner, donning a pair of sunglasses as he posed for the cameras.
Things got even better for Elche when Enzo Roco was felled by Oriol Riera following a free-kick and Lomban cooly sent Fabricio the wrong way to score from 12 yards.
Depor burst into life at the start of the second half and created three scoring chances within minutes of the restart but neither Lucas Perez nor Riera, on two occasions, could make the most of their opportunities.
And Victor Sanchez del Amo's side were dealt a hammer blow seven minutes into the second period.
Suarez took advantage of Depor's high defensive line to release Jonathas, and the Brazilian's shot ricocheted off Fabricio and looped towards goal, but Pasalic made sure by beating a Depor defender to nod it over the goal line.
To their credit, the Galicians continued to look for a consolation goal but instead they conceded yet again.
A minute into stoppage time Elche cleared a corner and substitute Rodrigues made the most of his fresh legs to race forward from his own area towards Depor's goal, firing past Fabricio just before he reached the box.