Alaves climbed back into La Liga's top six on Monday after they beat Levante 2-0 to snap a four-match winless streak and move back ahead of Real Betis in the standings.
Victor Laguardia's first-half header was the difference between the two sides for the vast majority of their clash at Estadio de Mendizorroza. Winger Jony turned in a second to double their advantage in injury time.
Levante have now lost their last five away matches in a row and are 13th in La Liga, with only four points separating them from the bottom three.
Monday's hosts had failed to score in their previous three games and have rejuvenated their European qualification hopes thanks to their Week 23 win. Alaves' next test is an essential trip to Real Betis, who sit three points and one place below Abelardo Fernandez's side.
Week 23 Results
Real Valladolid 0-0 Villarreal
Getafe 3-1 Celta Vigo
Atletico Madrid 1-3 Real Madrid
Espanyol 2-1 Rayo Vallecano
Girona 0-2 Huesca
Leganes 3-0 Real Betis
Valencia 0-0 Real Sociedad
Sevilla 2-2 Eibar
Athletic Bilbao 0-0 Barcelona
Alaves 2-0 Levante
La Liga Standings (Points, Goal Difference)
1. Barcelona: 51, +37
2. Real Madrid: 45, +13
2. Atletico Madrid: 44, +16
4. Sevilla: 37, +13
5. Getafe: 35, +9
6. Alaves: 35, -3
7. Real Betis: 32, -3
8. Valencia: 31, +4
9. Real Sociedad: 31, +2
10. Eibar: 30, -1
11. Leganes: 29, -2
12. Espanyol: 28, -10
13. Levante: 27, -10
14. Athletic Bilbao: 27, -5
15. Valladolid: 26, -9
16. Girona: 24, -10
17. Celta Vigo: 24, -4
18. Rayo Vallecano: 23, -13
19. Villarreal: 20, -8
20. Huesca: 18, -16
Slim though Monday's win might have been, Alaves will have first and foremost been happy just to get goals on the board.
Striker Borja Baston scored their last goal away to Girona on January 12, with Fernandez's men since going 320 minutes without a goal in all competitions.
The European hopefuls have found their forte in scoring and went back to basics as central defender Laguardia headed in their breakthrough, with striker Jonathan Calleri having hit the woodwork minutes earlier, per OptaJose:
Levante ended the match with 52 per cent of possession but toiled with the ball at times and were outshot by their hosts, 15-8. Not only that, but of those eight attempts, Levante failed to hit the target once, per WhoScored.com.
There were also scenes in the stands as many Alaves fans stayed outside the ground for the first five minutes of the match in protest at Monday night fixtures, per The Spanish Football Podcast:
La Liga Lowdown posted footage of a more artistic protest from some Alaves supporters, which involved visual props:
Paco Lopez's visitors have struggled away from home of late but could have taken something from Monday's trip with the proper approach. Top scorer Roger Marti was starved of chances up front and too often looked short of options once finding his way into enemy territory.
Cheick Doukoure was largely at fault for Alaves' late second and allowed winger Jony to steal in for a relatively simple finish two minutes into injury time.
That score left the result beyond doubt and extended Levante's barren run away from home, while Alaves get their second win of 2019 and push back into the UEFA Europa League debate.