La Liga: Valencia, Sevilla held at home
Valencia failed to win at home for the first time this season as Athletic Bilbao put their disappointment at being knocked out of the Champions League in midweek behind them to claim a 0-0 draw.
Madrid: Valencia failed to win at home for the first time this season as Athletic Bilbao put their disappointment at being knocked out of the Champions League in midweek behind them to claim a 0-0 draw.
Earlier, Sevilla passed up the chance to move up to third as Victor Casadesus`s equaliser 10 minutes from time handed Levante a vital point in a 1-1 draw at the Sanchez Pizjuan.
A point moves Valencia up to third, three points behind leaders Real Madrid, with Sevilla a further point adrift in fifth.
Valencia had taken advantage of their lack of European action so far this season to suggest they could pose an unlikely title challenge.
However, with their Spanish international strike pairing Paco Alcacer and Rodrigo held scoreless for the sixth consecutive game, even the introduction of Alvaro Negredo as a second-half substitute couldn`t breakdown Athletic`s well-organised defence.
Alcacer had the best opening of the first period as he headed over when unmarked inside the box from Pablo Piatti`s free-kick.
Piatti was then denied from close range by Gorka Iraizoz and Andres Gomez dragged a shot wide from the edge of the area as Valencia enjoyed a five-minute spell of pressure.
Yet, even after Negredo replaced Piatti, Valencia`s threat wilted after the break and they were grateful to goalkeeper Diego Alves for a point as the Brazilian bravely blocked Xabi Etxeita`s shot from point-blank range with his face three minutes from time.
It was a similar story for Sevilla despite going in front when Vitolo headed home Gerard Deulofeu`s cross on the half hour mark.
Sevilla`s top scorer Carlos Bacca then had two chances to seal the three points after the break as he fired just wide and was then denied by a clearance off the line by Juanfran.
And the hosts were left to regret those missed opportunities as goalkeeper Beto flapped at a corner 10 minutes from time and the ball fell kindly for Casadesus to prod home from close range.
Sevilla still had their chances to win the game at the death as Kevin Gameiro just failed to reach Bacca`s dangerous low cross before Diego Marino blocked Coke`s fierce drive from close range in the eighth minute of stoppage time as the visitors held on.