Frederic Kanoute scored one goal and created another for Renato to help Sevilla to a 2-1 home win over Andalusian rivals Almeria in the Primera Liga on Sunday.
Sevilla's fourth league win in a row maintained their hold on third place, seven points behind Real Madrid, whose 10-match winning streak ended when they were held to a 1-1 home draw by city rivals Atletico on Saturday.
Leaders Barcelona returned to winning ways and extended their advantage over Real to six points with a 2-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, their first win in six outings in all competitions.
With 12 matches left, Barca have 63 points, champions Real are on 57, Sevilla have 50 and Villarreal are five behind in fourth after Saturday's 1-0 win at home to Espanyol.
Mali striker Kanoute controlled a Ndri Romaric cross with his chest in the fifth minute and finished coolly past goalkeeper Diego Alves.
With just under half an hour left, Kanoute crossed for Renato to scoop the ball over Alves into the net before Alvaro Negredo pulled one back from the penalty spot after Renato had chopped down Pablo Piatti.
Cash-strapped Valencia's hopes of a place in next season's Champions League were dented on Sunday when they surrendered the lead to lose 2-1 at relegation-threatened Numancia.
An error by goalkeeper Juan Pablo Colinas gifted Valencia a goal on 10 minutes when he spilled Vicente's tame long-range shot and the ball trickled into the net.
Carlos Aranda hooked in just before the break to equalise and Jose Barkero smashed home a free kick to give the home side valuable three points and move them off the bottom of the table above Espanyol.
Vicente almost made it 2-2 in added time but his low shot cannoned off the post and into the arms of Colinas.
Valencia, who have not won a match since early February, have delayed payments to players, suspended work on a new stadium and this week said they may have to sell prize assets such as Spain striker David Villa to raise cash.
Villa was sidelined for Sunday's match after he hurt his knee in training and the league's second-highest scorer with 19 goals is to have further tests.
Valencia slipped outside the European qualification places into seventh behind Deportivo Coruna in fifth and Atletico in sixth. Depor thumped visiting Racing Santander 5-3 on Sunday, including four goals in 16 second-half minutes.