A misfiring Real Madrid CF spurned the chance to take over from FC Barcelona at the Spanish Liga summit as they were held to a goalless draw at CA Osasuna while RCD Mallorca rose to fourth.
Madrid failed to find any fluency in the opening 45 minutes and could have reached the midway stage a goal down had Javad Nekounam's header beaten Iker Casillas. Manuel Pellegrini's half-time words invigorated the visitors, however, and they were quick to test goalkeeper Ricardo after the interval through Marcelo and Rafael van der Vaart. The best chances, though, fell to Gonzalo Higuaín but the striker failed to break the deadlock in two one-on-one situations. Substitute Karim Benzema provided further spark for Los Merengues but Ricardo denied the French striker to preserve a point for the home side.
Mallorca moved above Sevilla FC into fourth spot after extending their perfect home record to eight matches in the Liga with a 2-0 victory at home to Athletic Club, Julio Álvarez making the breakthrough four minutes after half-time with Aritz Aduriz's eighth of the season sealing the points midway through the second half. RC Deportivo La Coruña could have joined them on 30 points only to be held to a goalless draw away at struggling Real Zaragoza.
Getafe CF are seventh as substitute Francisco Casquero scored the only goal in their victory at home to Real Valladolid CF. Real Racing Club moved three points clear of the relegation zone, by downing CD Tenerife 2-0, as did UD Almería after José Ortiz's 89th-minute lone strike saw off bottom side Xerez CD. Finally, Real Sporting de Gijón were held 2-2 at home by Málaga CF, who remain in the bottom three.
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