MADRID: Valencia climbed above Malaga into third and an automatic qualification slot for next season's Champions League when a Jonas double helped them to a 4-1 win at home to Rayo Vallecano in La Liga on Wednesday.
Jordi Alba and Pablo Hernandez also struck for the Europa League semi-finalists, who have 52 points with six games left.
Valencia's less illustrious city neighbours Levante missed a chance to go fourth when they surrendered the lead and lost 3-2 at relegation-threatened Sporting Gijon.
They stay fifth on 48 points, two behind Malaga who play at struggling Villarreal on Thursday and can reclaim third with a win at the Madrigal.
Athletic Bilbao, who are also through to the last four of the Europa League but whose La Liga form has been erratic, had to come from two goals down to rescue a 2-2 draw at 10-man Granada and are eighth on 42 points.
Leaders Real Madrid are looking to restore their four-point advantage over chasing Barcelona when they play at city rivals Atletico later on Wednesday.
Real were 10 points clear of their arch rivals three weeks ago but Barca have closed to within a point thanks to Tuesday's 4-0 success at home to Getafe, when Alexis Sanchez struck twice and Lionel Messi netted his 39th league goal of the campaign.
Barca, chasing a fourth straight La Liga title, host Real in the second "Clasico" of the season on April 21.