|First Division - Day 14|
Villarreal 0 - Real Madrid 0
Javi Venta, Gonzalo Rodríguez, Quique Alvarez, Arruabarrena; Cazorla
(Héctor Font 73'), Josico (Peña 88'), Riquelme, Sorín;
Guayre (Diego Forlán 66'), Lucho Figueroa. 4-4-2.
Team changes: Villarreal: Quique Alvarez, Arruabarrena, Cazorla, Guayre, Lucho Figueroa for Peña, César Arzo, Armando Sá, José Marí, Diego Forlán / Madrid: Pavón, Raúl Bravo, Owen, Solari for Roberto Carlos, Guti, Raúl, Figo.
Second placed Real Madrid were held to a 0-0 draw at Villarreal, and are now nine points behind leaders Barcelona. With a vital Champions League coming up against Roma on Wednesday, manager García Remón decided to rest many of his top names, including Raúl and Roberto Carlos who were on the bench, Guti and Figo who were suspended, and Zidane who had not fully recovered from an injury. But their replacements put in a disappointing display, and were lucky not to be beaten for the first time ever in the Madrigal stadium as the home side failed to take advantage of the many chances they created.
Villarreal had injury problems themselves following their UEFA cup match against Partizan Belgrade on Thursday, and Pellegrini drafted in new signing Lucho Figueroa just days after he joined the club. The Argentine striker did bring a couple of good saves out of Casillas, although he did seem more interested in diving in the area than anything else. The only real chances in the first half fell to the locals though, with Javi Venta in particular shooting wide early on. Madrid's only effort anywhere near target came from a Beckham free kick which hit the bar on the half hour mark.
The home side continued to pile on the pressure after the break, with Casillas saving well from Guayre and Cazorla, and Figueroa failing to convert a couple of chances, and eventually getting the ball in the net only to have the header ruled out for a borderline offside. Casillas did well to push out a Riquelme free kick, and substitute Diego Forlán shot just wide in the dying minutes. García Remón settled for a point though, and he made a couple of defensive changes towards the end to rest more of his key players for the match in Rome.