Valencia beat Deportivo La Coruna 2-1 on Saturday evening to secure third place in the La Liga standings.
Los Che approached Saturday night’s fixture having seen fourth place Real Madrid lose to Villarreal and they knew a victory would see the finish third on the standings to complete the first half of the season.
Goals from Goncalo Guedes and Spanish international Rodrigo saw them lead 2-0 for the most part of the game at the Riazor, although Florin Andone did pull one back for the home side.
The win against struggling Depor sees Valencia move back to within two points of Atletico Madrid, who beat Eibar narrowly by one-goal earlier in the day.
Despite pushing Barcelona in the early parts of the season, Marcelino’s side now sit eight points behind the league leaders, who have a game in hand of their three title contenders.
Elsewhere, it was a must-win game for Malaga which ended in defeat and could spelt the end of the road for coach Michel, who sacked promptly after the game.
Getafe ran out 1-0 winners on Friday evening in the opening game of match day 19, courtesy of a well-worked setpiece in the second half which Juan Cala converted with a powerful header from the centre of the area.