Sevilla climbed into sixth place on the Primera Division table after seeing off 10-man Valencia at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan tonight. Substitutes Alvaro Negredo and Alejandro Alfaro netted second-half goals as Sevilla took full advantage of the 24th-minute dismissal of Valencia midfielder Mehmet Topal.
Sevilla are now level on 17 points with Valencia after the Andalusian side recorded their seventh win in nine competitive games since Gregorio Manzano took charge. The result extends Valencia's miserable run at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan to seven defeats in nine visits, with their last win at the ground dating back to 2004.
There was little to separate the two La Liga giants early on, with Sevilla forward Luis Fabiano bringing a good save out Cesar Sanchez before Valencia winger Juan Mata did likewise against Javi Varas at the other end.
The match turned in Sevilla's favour midway through the first period when Turkey international Topal was handed his marching orders. Topal was adjudged to have left his foot up in a challenge with Martin Caceres and, with the Sevilla defender rolling on the floor in pain, the summer signing from Galatasaray was shown a straight red card.
Sevilla had to wait until the second half to finally make their numerical superiority count, but once Negredo put them ahead in the 55th minute a home victory looked the only likely outcome. Caceres' low 25-yard shot was parried by Valencia substitute goalkeeper Vicente Guaita - who had replaced the injured Cesar at half-time - and Negredo was quickest to the loose ball before drilling his shot through the custodian's legs.
Negredo had only been on the pitch two minutes before netting that goal, and it was a similar story later on when Alfaro scored Sevilla's second just three minutes after coming off the bench as Manzano's changes twice reaped immediate rewards. Mouhamadou Dabo dinked the ball to the far post where the unmarked Alfaro was on hand to power home a header. That proved to be the final goal of the game, although both teams had chances in the final 13 minutes.
Roberto Soldado saw a good opening saved for Valencia before Sevilla raced down the other end and Negredo was denied by Guaita. Sevilla, having also hit the post through Luis Fabiano in between their two goals, then hit the woodwork for a second time late on through Diego Capel before Dirnei Renato saw his follow-up shot parried by Guaita as the hosts looked to finish the game with a flourish.