BARCELONA Sevilla's hopes of winning a first league title since 1946 were dented after they were held to a goalless draw at home to Villarreal on Sunday, with Samir Nasri missing a penalty in the second half.
Nasri's tame effort was caught by Villarreal goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo in the 49th minute after Mario Gaspar was penalised for tustling with Vitolo in the area. Sevilla's Wissam Ben Yedder later had a goal harshly ruled out for offside.
It was an inspired performance from Villarreal keeper Asenjo, who made three top saves after keeping out Nasri's penalty, including swooping to the floor to claw away a close range header from Vicente Iborra in the closing stages.
Sevilla stay third in the standings on 43 points, two behind Barcelona who beat Athletic Bilbao 3-0 on Saturday and three adrift of Real Madrid, who have two games in hand after their fixture at Celta, scheduled for Sunday, was postponed.
(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Toby Davis)