Football: Valencia stalemate leaves Sevilla stuck in a rut

Valencia defender Eliaquim Mangala (top) vies with Sevilla forward Wissam Ben Yedder during the Spanish league football match on April 16, 2017.
Valencia defender Eliaquim Mangala (top) vies with Sevilla forward Wissam Ben Yedder during the Spanish league football match on April 16, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

Madrid (AFP) - Sevilla's alarming slump in form continued but the visitors were grateful to escape with a point from a 0-0 draw at Valencia on Sunday.

Valencia were denied a fourth consecutive win as Italian striker Simone Zaza had a goal ruled out for handball 17 minutes from time.

Sevilla's best effort saw Stevan Jovetic hit the post early on, but Jorge Sampaoli's men have now won just one of their last eight games in all competitions.

A point means Sevilla trail third-placed Atletico Madrid by three points in the battle for automatic Champions League qualification.

However, they enjoy a comfortable eight-point lead over fifth-placed Villarreal, who travel to Alaves on Monday.

In Sunday's earlier game, Leo Baptistao struck in stoppage time to hand Espanyol a 1-0 win at Leganes.