La Liga Round-Up
By Peter ORourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Mista's second half goal was enough to give the home side all three points and enable them to move above Madrid by one point.
Valencia struggled in the first half to break down a resolute Sevilla defence with goalscoring chances at a premium.
The home side upped the tempo in the second half and came close to opening the scoring on the hour mark, but Esteban produced a fine save to turn over Mista's header.
Sevilla's escape was only momentary as Mista rose highest to head home Vicente's resulting corner.
Real can go back top on Sunday when they visit Mallorca.
Real Valladolid piled the misery on struggling Real Sociedad with an impressive 3-1 win at The Anoeta.
Last season's runners-up got off to a dream start with Turkish striker Nihat Kahveci firing them in front after just six minutes.
Valladolid hit back and drew level just before the half hour mark with Ariz Makukula netting.
The visitors then stunned their hosts with Oscar Gonzalez giving them the lead on 72 minutes.
Valladolid made sure of the win with a third from Roberto Losada five minutes from time.
The result leaves Sociedad languishing third from bottom, while Valladolid climb into the top half of the table.
Atletico Madrid missed the chance to close the gap on the leading pack after being held to a 2-2 draw by Racing Santander in a fiery encounter at Vicente Calderon which saw three men sent off.
Sergio Matabuena gave Racing a shock lead on 53 minutes and Atletico wasted a great opportunity to draw level two minutes later when Ariel Ibagaza missed from the penalty spot.
Veljko Paunovic drew the home side level on 62 minutes and winger Kiki Musampa turned the game on its head seven minutes later by putting Atletico in front.
Racing suffered a blow when Diego Mateo was sent off for two bookable offences on 71 minutes, but despite their numerical disadvantage they squared things up eight minutes later.
Ibagaza's miserable night was compounded when he was sent off ten minutes from time and Santi joined him for an early bath when he also saw red to leave Atletico with just nine men.
Click on fixture for full match summary
Click here for updated league table