First Division - Day 18

Villarreal 0 - Espanyol 0

Villarreal: Reina; Quique Alvarez, Ballesteros, Unai (Aranda 75'), Galván; Belletti, Marcos Senna, Farinós (Calleja 82'), Jorge López (Josico 60'); Víctor, Palermo. 4-4-2.
Espanyol: Sergio Sánchez; Amaya, Lopo, Soldevilla, David García; Domoraud, Morales (Oscar 75'); Alex Fernández, Maxi (Martín Posse 80'), Roger (Velamazán 65'); Milosevic. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Villarreal: Quique Alvarez, Galván for Arruabarrena, Guayre / Espanyol: Amaya, Alex Fernández, Roger for Bertrán, De la Peña, Tamudo.

Goals: None.

Espanyol won themselves a valuable point in a hard fought scoreless draw at Villarreal. New manager Javier Clemente was forced to change his side around with Betran and De la Peña injured and Tamudo suspended, and he opted to being in Amaya and Alex on the right hand side, switching Maxi to play behind sole striker Milosevic. Quique Alvarez and Galván came in as full backs for Benito Floro's side in place of the suspended Arruabarrena and Guayre, with Belletti switching to a more forward role wide on the right.

Belletti it was who came closest to scoring with a shot just wide midway through the first half, and the Brazilian international set up Víctor a few minutes later only for him to wait to long and allow the defence to close him down. Reina's first touch of the ball did not come until close to half time when Maxi shot on the turn, and apart from an effort from Soldevilla following Roger's free kick, the visitors hardly managed another strike at goal all match.

After the break Belletti shot wide again, and Sergio Sánchez saved well from Víctor as the home side came looking for their third win in a row. In the closing minutes substitute Aranda picked up a loose rebound in front of goal, but he rushed his shot and put the ball wide of the post. Finally though they both settled for a point, which keeps Villarreal in twelfth place and takes Javier Clemente's side a little closer to salvation, now only a point behind eighteenth placed Rayo Vallecano.