Villa consolidates solid Valencia in fourth place

David VillaMadrid  - A 2-1 win away to Betis on Wednesday consolidates solid Valencia in fourth place in the Spanish Liga.

Valencia scored their fifth straight win thanks to two more goals from Euro 2008 top scorer David Villa, who now has 25 - just one less than league top hitman Samuel Eto'o of leaders Barcelona.

Villa struck first in the 66th minute of a dull game, flicking in a tempting near-post centre from fellow Spain striker Juan Mata.

14 minutes later Villa made it 2-0 after a clever combination between Joaquin and Edu.

Ricardo Oliveira pulled a goal back for Betis four minutes from time, but it came too late to save the hosts.

Valencia now have 55 points from 32 games, two points less than third-placed Sevilla, who are away to leaders Barcelona later on Wednesday.

"It was important for us to keep up our winning run tonight," said a delighted Villa.

Malaga, meanwhile, were moving up to fifth, on 50 points, by winning 3-2 away to Osasuna.

Malaga's winning goal was headed home 13 minutes from time by former Spain forward Salva.

In Wednesday's other early game, Deportivo Coruna beat midtable rivals Almeria 2-0 with goals from Joan Verdu and Niouoi Lassad. (dpa)