In a heated contest with few chances, the visiting defence did just enough to stop Radamel Falcao and the potent home attack to earn a point ahead of Wednesday's Camp Nou clash
Each team had their chances, but fluffed their lines throughout as fouls and cards slowed the flow of the game, with the visitors under more pressure.
The Valencia defence got to work early against Diego Simeone's men, who recorded their fifth straight clean sheet as just after eight minutes in, a cross from Juanfran on the right found Adrian in the middle of the box. The young forward managed to head an effort to the left side of the goal, but Alves pushed the ball wide.
Another 20 minutes passed until the game's next chance, when a long ball from Rami was cleared out of the Atletico box, but Pablo Piatti managed to scoop it up, volleying a shot from 20 yards out, which Thibaut Courtois did just enough to halt as he pushed wide for a corner.
The capital club would have one more chance in the opening half, when ten minutes from time, a cross from Diego was headed to the back post by Adrian, but Radamel Falcao could not get the desired touch, sending it high and wide with a sliding effort from just a yard out.
After the break, Gabi nearly put Atletico up with a volley from the top of the box off a clearance from Miguel, but his shot was pushed just wide by the visiting custodian.
With 25 minutes to go, the hosts had their best chance of the match. A run down the right by Falcao saw an initial cross from the byeline stopped by Rami, but the Colombian got another crack at it, only to see his shot hit the French defender's leg and spin just past the far post.
In the end, Emery's men managed to withstand the home attack in the dying minutes to secure a point, just days ahead of the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final with Barcelona. The visitors now have 37 points and remain in third place, while the hosts are in seventh with 30.
Simeone's side return to action next week against Racing Santander.