- Associated Press - Friday, December 8, 2017

MADRID (AP) - Alaves defeated Las Palmas 2-0 Friday for its second consecutive victory in the Spanish league, moving a step closer to escaping the relegation zone.

Ibai Gomez scored in the 23rd minute and Munir El Haddadi added another in the 55th at Mendizorroza Stadium, helping the hosts reach 18th place in the standings, just ahead of Las Palmas.

Alaves is level on 12 points with Deportivo La Coruna, the first team outside the relegation zone.

“We just have to keep working and keep believing” El Haddadi said.

Alaves was sitting last entering the previous round, before it hired coach Abelardo Fernandez as its third manager of the season.

Abelardo was already in command when Alaves pulled off a thrilling 3-2 win over Girona by scoring three times in the final 20 minute to erase a two-goal deficit.

“They came out with more intensity. We were not expecting it,” Las Palmas midfielder Javi Castellano said.

Las Palmas, now two points behind Alaves, had snapped a five-match winless run by defeating Real Betis in the previous round. It remains without a head coach since firing manager Pako Ayestaran last week. Interim coach Paquito Ortiz was on the bench on Friday.

Las Palmas has only four wins in 17 matches this season.

Barcelona has a five-point lead over Valencia at the top.


More AP Spanish soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/LaLiga

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