Valencia keeps hold of third in La Liga, wins 4-0 vs. Elche
ELCHE, Spain (AP) — Andre Gomes scored one goal and assisted on another to lead Valencia to a 4-0 win at Elche on Friday and strengthen its hold on third place in the Spanish league.
The Portugal midfielder scored from a rebound after a team move that included two incisive passes by left back Jose Gaya to give the visitors the lead a minute before halftime.
Gomes then crossed for striker Paco Alcacer, who dived forward with his leg to volley home the second with the side of his boot in the 57th.
Elche defender Enzo Roco scored an own goal in the 71st, and Valencia defender Nicolas Otamendi netted in stoppage time.
Otamendi had already made two acrobatic clearances to thwart Elche's most promising attacks during a back-and-forth start before Gomes put Valencia ahead.
Valencia's seventh win in eight rounds lifted it to within four points of second-place Real Madrid and four points ahead of Atletico Madrid in fourth before the weekend games.
"We are all working to return to the Champions League next season," said Gomes. "We have to remember that we have a young team with many new players and I think we are working well. We are in a good position now and we want to keep going forward one game at a time."
Elche was left in 15th place, two points above the relegation zone before the rest of the matches in round 28.
Barcelona hosts Madrid on Sunday with a one-point lead over its fierce rival atop the standings.