Vallecano beaten at Osasuna
Kike's early strike lifted Osasuna to a narrow 1-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano in Friday night's Primera Division encounter at Estadio El Sadar.
The forward's emphatic finish was enough to see Osasuna scramble out of the relegation zone and into the relative safety of 16th place ahead of the remainder of the weekend's fixtures.
Osasuna have now put together a four-match unbeaten run to ease their troubles at the foot of the standings, while Rayo's second loss in three saw them miss the chance to climb into sixth.
Six minutes were on the clock when the hosts went ahead, Alvaro Cejudo threading the ball beyond the Rayo defence for Kike to run on and blast high into the left corner.
Rayo threatened a swift response in the ninth minute when Piti unleashed a good effort from the edge of the area that Andres Fernandez had to tip to safety.
Just after the half-hour Fernandez was in action again, this time saving Roberto Trashorras' free-kick as Osasuna held their lead to the interval.
Just before the hour Piti worked another opening for a Rayo side that largely looked short on ideas, the striker working space in the area and firing in an effort that whistled wide.
A minute later Osasuna nearly doubled their lead but were denied by a double save from David Cobeno, who first kept out Cejudo's drive and then denied Joseba Llorente's rebound effort.
Fernandez saved from Piti again midway through the half as Rayo continued to hunt in vain for an equaliser.
And the visitors' frustrations were compounded in the 74th minute when they finally got the ball in the net only to see Leo Baptistao's effort chalked off for offside.