Valencia stay in Champions League hunt

Valencia stay in Champions League hunt  -

Valencia maintained their hopes of a place in next season’s Champions League after Daniel Parejo’s penalty on the stroke of half-time gave them a vital 1-0 victory at Sevilla on Sunday.

Parejo’s spot-kick, which came after Ever Banega brought down Jose Gaya, extended Valencia‘s unbeaten run to nine matches and moves them up to sixth, level on 43 points with Sevilla and just three back from the final Champions League spot.

That place is occupied by Getafe, who fell 2-0 at home to mid-table Leganes on Saturday and have to play the league’s top three — leaders Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid — and Sevilla in their final nine games.

Despite a slightly simpler league fixture list Marcelino’s Valencia however have an all-Spanish Europa League quarter-final tie with Villarreal to contend with, as well as the Copa Del Rey final against Barcelona between now and the end of the season.

Both teams are way behind Real Madrid, who are third and host bottom club Huesca later on Sunday hoping to keep the pressure on neighbours Atletico Madrid in the fight for second after Diego Simeone’s side hammered fifth-placed Alaves 4-0 on Saturday.

Barcelona are 10 points clear of Atleti and heavy favourites to retain their La Liga after Lionel Messi fired them to their sixth league win on the bounce, 2-0 at home to local rivals Espanyol.