(CNN) -- Brazilian Renato proved the hero once again as Sevilla followed up their win over Real Madrid with a 1-0 home victory over title rivals Villarreal on Sunday to go third in the Primera Liga table.
Renato (arms raised) celebrates his goal as Sevilla beat Villarreal to go third in the Spanish Primera Liga.
Renato had scored an 84th-minute winner as Sevilla overcame Real 4-3 last weekend and he struck again just before half-time to secure a valuable three points to move level on points with Valencia -- eight behind leaders Barcelona.
Villarreal slip to fourth and trail Barcelona, who defeated Real 2-0 in 'El Clasico' at the Nou Camp on Saturday, by nine points.
The only goal came when Frederic Kanoute miscontrolled a pass but the ball inadvertently set up the Brazilian striker to score.
Kanoute should have made it 2-0 at the beginning of the second half but sliced over the bat after Adriano had cut the ball back.
Villarreal then had Jose Llorente sent off eight minutes into the second half for a second yellow card and Sevilla substitute Fabiano and Adriano both spurned great chances to add to the home side's total.
Sevilla are now emerging as surprise title contenders to Barcelona who opened up a 12-point gap over champions Real with a 2-0 win in 'El Clasico' on Saturday. Goals from Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi in the final seven minutes sunk Real and sparked wild celebrations.
Meanwhile, goals from Maxi Rodriguez and Sergio Aguero gave Atletico Madrid a 2-0 home victory over Real Betis in the late match to move above city rivals Real Madrid and into fifth place, 11 points off the pace.
Elsewhere, Real Mallorca coach Gregorio Manzano continues to feel the strain after his struggling side crashed to a 4-1 defeat at Getafe.
Mallorca, who finished seventh last season, have now taken just one point from their last 15 and the latest defeat sees them drop into the bottom three.
A Cosmin Contra penalty and a strike from Ikechuwku Uche put Getafe two goals up inside the first half-an-hour and Mallorca never recovered.
Recreativo Huelva, second from bottom, moved level on 13 points with Mallorca after defeating Osasuna 1-0 in a relegation six-pointer on Sunday. Adrian Colunga scored on 83 minutes to sink Osasuna who are now four points adrift at the bottom of the table.