Cedric Bakambu bags brace as Villarreal maintain European push

Cedric Bakambu of Villarreal
Cedric Bakambu of Villarreal
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Cedric Bakambu scored twice as Villarreal maintained their push for a European place next season with a comfortable 3-1 win over Sporting Gijon.

The defeat was the visitors' seventh game without a win and they remain rooted in the bottom three of the La Liga table with relegation looking increasingly likely. 

Roberto Soldado opened the scoring just past the half-hour mark for the hosts and Bakambu added a brace early in the second half before a consolation from Douglas Pereira.

The visitors had started well with Duje Cop firing just wide after four minutes but the home side soon seized control with Roberto Soriano looking particularly dangerous.

Soldado fired the opener from the centre of the box in the 33rd minute but Gijon responded well with chances for Xavi Torres and Jean-Sylvain Babin.

But it was 2-0 just two minutes into the second half when Jonathan dos Santos provided a cross from the right and Bakambu connected to steer the ball past visiting goalkeeper Pichu Cuellar.

Soldado turned provider in the 59th minute when he fed Bakambu to knock home his second goal of the game and effectively seal victory for the home side.

Soldado would come close to making it 4-0 for the hosts before Gijon rallied with Cop coming close once again with a header that was parried by home keeper Andres Fernandez.

Gijon finally got the consolation goal they deserved in the 73rd minute when Victor Rodriguez set up Douglas to ensure his side left with something to show for their efforts.