Real Betis Balompie missed a chance to move level on points with sixth-placed Valencia when they were held to a 0-0 draw at home to fellow European hopefuls Getafe in La Liga on Monday.
The result at the Estadio Benito Villamarin in Seville left Betis in seventh on 44 points with nine games left, two behind Valencia and one ahead of Madrid-based Getafe.
“It was an intense match and I think a draw was a fair result,” Betis midfielder Jose Canas told Spanish television broadcaster Cuatro.
“The team is in good shape and we can continue on this positive run. I think we deserve it and I hope we can do it,” he added, referring to European competition next season.
Earlier, Athletic Bilbao survived the dismissal of winger Markel Susaeta 10 minutes from time to hold on for a 1-0 win at home to Granada that lifted the Basque club to 13th position on 35 points.
Aritz Aduriz nodded Bilbao ahead in the 67th minute and Granada, fifth from bottom on 28 points, almost snatched an equalizer in the first minute of stoppage-time when midfielder Yacine Brahimi crashed a shot against the post.
Bilbao, who along with Real Madrid and Barcelona have never suffered relegation from the top flight, have been a shadow of the team that reached the final of the Europa League and the Copa del Rey last season.