First Division - Day 25

Deportivo La Coruña 0 - Villarreal 0

Deportivo: Molina; Scaloni, Donato (César 15'), Naybet, Capdevila; Duscher, Sergio; Víctor, Valerón (Djalminha 65'), Fran (Makaay 73'); Diego Tristán. 4-2-3-1.
Villarreal: López Vallejo; Galván, Ballesteros, Quique Alvarez, Arruabarrena (Xavi Roca 62'); Galca, Amor; Jorge López (Xavi Gracia 90'), Guayre (Escoda 40'), Calleja; Pizzi. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Deportivo: Sergio for Mauro Silva / Villarreal: Galván, Amor, Guayre for Xavi Roca, Cagna, Víctor.

Goals: None.

A remarkable weekend in the Spanish league, with four of the top five teams involved in 0-0 draws. Saturday's two games involving Valencia, Celta and Barcelona ended without goals, and Deportivo and Villarreal played out the third scoreless draw of the weekend, with the Gallicians losing a good opportunity to join Real Madrid and Valencia at the top of the table. Having been criticised for applying his rotation system, Irureta made only one change from the side which beat Celta midweek, Sergio coming in for Mauro Silva. Villarreal lost Víctor through injury, and with Craioveanu joining Palermo on the injury list, Guayre came in to join Pizzi in attack. Depor started well, but suffered a serious blow with only a quarter of an hour gone, Donato having to leave the field with an Achilles' tendon injury which will probably keep him out for the rest of the season. The veteran defender was celebrating his 450th league game and was concerned after the match as he only needed to play in two more games to ensure another season's contract. Club president Augusto César Lendoiro put the player's mind at rest however, announcing that he would be renewing his contract anyway, meaning that Donato will become the first player ever to play in the Spanish league at the age of 40 (and some say he is even older).

Depor's last available defender César came on for the Hispano-Brazilian, and they continued to attack, with Diego Tristán in the thick of the action but unable to convert any of his chances. Villarreal were nowhere to be seen at first, but they gradually fought their way into the game, with Pizzi bringing a couple of good saves out of Molina. An injury to Guayre though left the Argentine striker alone up front, and with no other first team strikers available Víctor Muñoz had to change his battle plans. Duscher went close with a long shot and López Vallejo made an inspired save from Sergio in the second half. Irureta wanted the three points though and brought on Djalminha and then Makaay to join Tristán, and Djalminha almost got the winner with a last minute free kick. But in the end a disappointing result for the home side, and having finally started to show some form away, their home record appears to have gone to pot. They stay in fourth place, level on points with their neighbours Celta. Villarreal slip a place to twelfth, and seem to be improving after they dropped dangerously close to the bottom three only a couple of weeks ago.