MADRID (AP) " Striker Cedric Bakambu scored twice as Villarreal defeated Sporting Gijon 3-1 in the Spanish league on Friday, keeping alive its slim hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

Villarreal was within five points of fourth-place Sevilla and third-place Atletico Madrid, who are level on points.

Sporting was in 18th place in the 20-team standings, at least six points from safety.

Roberto Soldado opened the scoring in the first half and Bakambu added both of his goals early in the second.

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Douglas scored near the end for Sporting, which is winless in seven games.