Hedwiges Maduro is blocked by Racing Santander midfielder Sergio Canales [AFP]

Third-placed Valencia's uninspiring 0-0 draw at home to Racing Santander left them 15 points adrift of Spanish Primera Division leaders Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Valencia, who travel to champions Barca next weekend, hit the post through David Villa in the first half but struggled to contain visitors who lie 16th in the standings.

Racing's 19-year-old midfielder Sergio Canales, who last month agreed a move to Real Madrid starting from July, was a constant threat for the Cantabrians but they failed to take their chances on Monday.

The home side had defender David Navarro sent off three minutes from time and Canales hoisted a shot over the bar from close range soon after.

Valencia strengthened their grip on third in the standings with 47 points, moving four clear of fourth-placed Sevilla.

Real Madrid replaced Barcelona at the top on Saturday after coming from behind to beat Sevilla 3-2 with a dramatic late winner at the Bernabeu.

Real moved level on 62 points with Barca, who were held 2-2 in Almeria, but took first place with their superior goal difference.

Source: Reuters