Ibai Gomez’ strike ensured Alaves beat Villarreal 2-1 on Saturday to gain three points.
The visitors were seeking to continue their impressive form of late, having been guided to a good improvement by former Barcelona defender Aberlardo, who was appointed in December.
And, they did after a superb performance against Javi Calleja’s side, who missed the opportunity to put pressure on fourth place Real Madrid.
Alaves went in front six minutes before half time when Alfonso Pedraza drove the ball into the box and defender Rodrigo Ely headed home.
The lively Pedraza was a constant danger against his parent club and he missed a glorious chance to double the away side’s lead in the second half.
John Guidetti, on loan from Celta Vigo, then turned provider as he played in Ibai Gomez, who made it 2-0 in the 71st minute.
Colombian striker Carlos Bacca pulled one back as a late revival looked likely for the home side, but Villarreal failed to push on from the AC Milan loanee’ deflected effort.
Villarreal suffered their second straight defeat with the result, which leaves them fifth in the table, two points off Zinedine Zidane’s side, who thrashed Real Sociedad 5-2 thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick.