Both teams have their sights set on the final Champions League place and in a stormy match, with three penalties awarded in the first half, Valencia came out on top and have 41 points, two more than their rivals who have a game in hand.

"It was a great result against a team that is also looking to finish fourth. We knew that we would have to fight to the end and that there wouldn't be much between the teams," Parejo told reporters.

"We had the right intensity and motivation that has helped us all season. We know that there is still a long way to go and I think the team can still get better."

With the top three teams all winning on Saturday, Real Madrid lead the standings with 48 points, one more than Barcelona and four clear of champions Atletico Madrid.

Parejo sent keeper Beto the wrong way after 18 minutes from the penalty spot following a foul by Diogo Figueiras on Alvaro Negredo, and he then finished clinically after 32 minutes having been found by Enzo Perez on a Valencia counter-attack.

The tables were turned when Parejo was adjudged to have fouled Figueiras inside the penalty box and Carlos Bacca beat keeper Diego Alves with his spot-kick for Sevilla in the 37th minute.

Alves was soon showing off his ability to block the ball when he denied Bacca a second goal from the penalty spot five minutes before break after Joao Cancelo brought down Vitolo.

A Javi Fuego long-range drive following the restart sealed the victory.

Valencia coach Nuno Espirito Santo praised Alves, who has built up a reputation for penalty saves and has now stopped four out of five spot-kicks against Sevilla.

"It is incredible and really helps the team. He wins us points by blocking penalties and I would just like to challenge him to keep going and continue to do this," he told a news conference.

"The team worked hard and I am happy with the result but I do think that we could have scored more."

Seventh-placed Malaga drew 1-1 at Athletic Bilbao after Javi Guerra's 78th minute strike followed Mikel San Jose's earlier effort for the Basque side.

A brace from Christian Stuani and another goal from Felipe Caicedo gave Espanyol, in ninth place, a 3-0 win over Almeria.

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