Valencia, Spain: Dani Parejo and Paco Alcacer scored goals in the second half to help Valencia beat Deportivo La Coruna 2-0 and move into provisional third place in the Spanish league on Friday.
Deportivo held its own at Mestalla Stadium through the first half, but Valencia increased the pace after the restart and gave the visitors no chance.
Parejo struck first in the 61st minute when he converted a penalty kick after Deportivo's Juanfran Moreno tripped Pablo Piatti in the area.
Alcacer then had a perfect return after missing the last month while recovering from a right leg injury. The Spain striker went on in the 72nd and seconds later was positioned to redirect Sofiane Feghouli's back pass into the net.
Alcacer's sixth goal of the season and his first since December came as Spain coach Vicente del Bosque is preparing to name his squad for an upcoming European championship qualifier against the Ukraine.
"We strikers live to score goals and score them in bunches," said Alcacer. "I'm very happy to return to the pitch and score again. I was very eager to do so, and I hope it's the start of a streak."
Feghouli almost increased the winning margin when he clipped the post from tight angle with two minutes to play.
Valencia provisionally rose two points above Atletico Madrid before the defending champions visit Espanyol on Saturday.
Deportivo was left one point above the relegation zone and in danger of falling farther down the standings with the rest of the teams still to play this round.
"The first half was evenly matched, but after their goal, which came after we lost the ball, the game became much tougher for us," said Deportivo midfielder Alex Burgantinos. "We need to be more decisive in attack. We are missing our chances and that is costing us."
With its seventh straight victory at home, Valencia also pulled to within five points of leader Barcelona and four of second-place Real Madrid.
Barcelona visits Eibar on Saturday, while Madrid hosts Levante on Sunday.