MADRID (AP) Italian striker Simone Zaza scored again as second-place Valencia defeated Alaves 2-1 Saturday to extend its winning streak and move closer to Barcelona in the Spanish league.
Zaza scored his eighth goal in six matches with a shot into the top corner from inside the area in the 34th minute at Mendizorroza Stadium, leading Valencia to its seventh straight win in all competitions.
Rodrigo got the winner in the second half by converting a penalty kick after Alexis Ruano had equalized for the hosts.
The penalty was prompted by a hand ball by Alaves defender Rodrigo Ely.
Valencia has 24 points and Barcelona, which plays at Athletic Bilbao later Saturday, has 25.
Valencia has won six straight in the league, outscoring opponents 23-8. It was coming off a 2-0 win over second-division club Zaragoza in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday.
The team's last setback was a 1-1 draw at city rival Levante in September.
Zaza has scored in six consecutive matches.
Alaves remains second-to-last in the 20-team standings with three points from 10 matches.