Ekambi scores 2 in Villarreal’s 4-1 win against Alavés
MADRID (AP) — Karl Toko Ekambi scored a goal in each half as Villarreal beat Alavés 4-1 to move closer to the top of the Spanish league on Friday.
It was the fifth win in the last seven games for Villarreal, which reached third place with 17 points, one less than second-place Real Madrid and two behind leader Barcelona.
Real Madrid and Barcelona won’t play this weekend after their “clásico” match was postponed until December because of a separatist rally planned in the Catalan capital.
Ekambi opened the scoring with a shot from inside the area after a fast counterattack in the 13th minute. He added his second with a touch from close range in the 65th after Lucas Pérez had equalized for the visitors with a neat bicycle kick in the 50th. Gerard Moreno scored the third after another fast break in the 84th, and substitute Javier Ontiveros closed the scoring from a free kick in stoppage time.
The result leaves Villarreal with the league’s best attack with 24 goals, one more than Barcelona.
“We have a very good attack and we need to keep working to continue like this until the end of the season,” said Ekambi, the forward from Cameroon who has five league goals, all scored in the last four matches.
Moreno has seven goals, tied with Real Betis’ Loren Morón as the league’s top scorer.
It was the ninth straight winless away match for Alavés. It had beaten Villarreal five times in the last six league games between the teams.
“We had our chances, but their second goal made it difficult for us,” Pérez said.