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Valencia vs Villarreal. Spanish La Liga.


Spanish Primera Division: Valencia frustrated at home

Valencia's Portuguese coach Nuno Espirito Santo walks off at full-time
Image: Valencia's Portuguese coach Nuno Espirito Santo walks off at full-time

Red-hot Valencia were frustrated in their bid to reclaim third spot back off Atletico Madrid as they were held to a goalless draw by local rivals Villarreal.

Los Che, looking for a seventh win in eight matches, created the better of what few chances were on show at the Mestalla but could not find a way past visiting keeper Sergio Asenjo.

He did well to deny Rodrigo and Paco Alcacer in quick succession midway through the second half before ensuring Valencia substitute Alvaro Negredo did not snatch a late winner for his side either.

The result means Valencia remain in fourth spot and a point behind Atletico, who beat Cordoba on Saturday, while Villarreal stay in sixth.

There was little to separate the two east-coast sides during the first half and it was not until the 70th minute that the supporters were treated to the first decent chance.

That fell Valencia's way but Asenjo did brilliantly to keep out Rodrigo's shot and then save Alcacer's effort straight afterwards.

The introduction of Negredo in place of Alcacer with 12 minutes to go gave Valencia fresh options in attack and the Spain international immediately tried to put his side ahead with a spectacular effort.

He controlled the ball on the edge of the box with his back to goal before throwing himself into an acrobatic overhead kick. It would have been one of the goals of the season but Asenjo was well-placed and was able to pluck the ball from under his bar.

A combination of Asenjo and Villarreal captain Mateo Musacchio then denied Negredo as he threatened again 60 seconds later.

The final chance of the match fell to Valencia in the 87th minute when they won a free-kick right on the edge of the area. Skipper Dani Parejo took responsibility but his curling effort just cleared the near top corner and Villarreal were able to hold out for a point.

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