Valencia go fourth with Sevilla win


Valencia overcame direct rivals Sevilla 3-1 at the Mestalla to move ahead of Unai Emery's side and into fourth spot in the Primera Division on Sunday evening. Dani Parejo gave the hosts the lead through a 20th-minute penalty and not long after doubled their advantage following a counter-attack. Carlos Bacca pulled one back for Sevilla from another spot-kick, but was then denied from 12 yards by penalty-saving expert Diego Alves, and 10 minutes after the break Javi Fuego restored the hosts' two-goal cushion. Nuno Espirito Santo's side moved two points clear of Sevilla, who have a game – albeit a daunting trip to Real Madrid – in hand. Valencia began the game in their usual fashion at the Mestalla, harrying their opponents from the off and playing with an impressive level of intensity. Their first chance came with just four minutes on the clock when Alvaro Negredo powered his way into the area and squared for Rodrigo, who narrowly failed to connect. The former Sevilla striker won the first penalty of the game when referee Jaime Latre ruled that Diogo Figueiras had fouled Negredo as the two players contested a high ball in the area. Replays suggested that Negredo had in fact fouled Figueiras, but Valencia captain Parejo kept a cool head and despatched the ball into the top corner. The midfielder then finished off an excellent counter-attack, facilitated by an excellent cross-field ball by Enzo Perez. However, just two minutes later Parejo was penalised for a questionable foul on Diogo, and Bacca sent Alves the wrong way from the spot. The Colombian striker was then given the chance to equalise as Joao Cancelo brought down Vitolo in the area, but this time Alves got the better of Bacca, guessing right and blocking the shot with his legs. The Brazilian goalkeeper has now stopped 20 of the 39 penalties taken against him in Spain. There was more penalty controversy at the start of the second half when Rodrigo was challenged by Coke, but this time Latre gave nothing. Alves was forced into action again to keep out a low drive from Gerard Deulofeu, but the Mestalla was on its feet a few minutes later to celebrate a third goal for the hosts. A poorly struck goal-kick from Beto landed at the feet of Fuego, who quickly played in Rodrigo down the left. The forward beat a defender and passed back to the edge of the area, where Fuego was waiting to slam the ball into the bottom corner. Beto made amends for his error by tipping a rebounded shot from Andre Gomes over the bar soon after. Sevilla kept searching for a way back into the game, but were shut out by a determined Valencia, roared on by a frenzied Mestalla crowd.