There are no prizes in football for team's who can't finish off their chances and nothing was clearer in the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán this Saturday as Sevilla slumped to a painful 0-2 loss. With the chance to shorten the gap between today's opponents to five points in the league, Sevilla now fall eleven behind Valencia in fourth place. A brace from Rodrigo, with goals either side of the half-time whistle, was the Nervionenses' punishment for chances wasted and despite spirit from the Nervión side - including chances that saw Sevilla hit the bar and force stunning saves out of Neto - Valencia were able to close up shop well and secure three golden points in their league campaign. Attention now turns to Manchester United.
The start of the match reflected the league table; with Sevilla pushing hard to test Valencia but failing to unlock a tight and well-organised Valencian backline which relied on a stunning Neto to keep chances out. Nolito was the first to test the Brazilian goalkeeper with a sweet volley but the keeper was able to dive to the left and keep hold of the ball well. Three minutes later Sevilla would go close once again, with Nolito, Vázquez and Muriel linking up well to see deflected effort cleared off the line. Sergio Rico was barely challenged but with Valencia's first real chance at goal, he would be picking the ball out of the net. A ball from Kondogbia would leave Rodrigo one on one, and the striker would make no mistake slotting cooly home to give Valencia an undeserved lead.
Valencia would finish off their first clear chance of the game to put Sevilla behind
A cruel twist after a bright start for Sevilla, who now needed to break through a formidable Valencia defence. Though it may already have been an uphill battle, Sevilla certainly gave it their best shot. On half an hour, the visitors would rely on Neto once again, this time pulling off one of the saves of the season after Sarabia flicked the ball to his near post. Not long after, the Madrid-born native would be at the centre of the action once again, crossing for Muriel who fired a header just wide. Muriel, for his part, would quickly go on to have one of the biggest chances of the first-half. Following a quick Sevilla counter, the Colombian would release a fierce effort that cannoned off the bar. With Vázquez unable to head the rebound home, a game-changing opportunity had escaped the home side.