Almeria eased to a 3-1 win over Espanyol at home and remained unbeaten since the Spanish league restarted following the World Cup.
Almeria, which was promoted for this season, has gone undefeated in five league games since the end of December.
Rubi’s Almeria is also proving to be one of the strongest teams at home with six wins in 10 games.
Its win over Espanyol on Friday lifted it into 11th place with the season at its midway point. Espanyol fell to 14th.
“This was our worst game of the season,” Espanyol midfielder Sergi Darder said. “They didn’t play at their best, but they were still infinitely better than us.” The scoreline was the most lopsided Espanyol has suffered this season along with a 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in August. But that game against the defending champion was 1-1 until the 88th minute.
Following several chances by the host, Colombian striker Luis Suarez scored in the 21st minute for his first goal since joining Almeria on loan from Marseille at the start of the month.
Former Espanyol forward Leo Baptistao doubled the lead in the 61st, and Gonzalo Melero set up Francisco Portillo to make it a rout in the 77th.
Espanyol striker Joselu Mato got the visitors’ goal in stoppage time. Joselu’s 11 goals are second only to the 13 of Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski.