First Division - Day 32

Villarreal 0 - Betis 0

Villarreal: Reina; Armando Sá, Quique Alvarez, Gonzalo Rodríguez, Arruabarrena; Riquelme, Marcos Senna, Josico (César Arzo 66'), Sorín; Diego Forlán, Figueroa (José Marí 70'). 4-4-2.
Betis: Doblas; Melli, Juanito, Rivas, Luis Fernández; Arzu (Benjamín 66'), Marcos Assunçao, Cañas; Joaquín (Denilson 87'), Fernando (Lembo 92'); Oliveira. 4-3-2-1.

Team changes: Villarreal: Quique Alvarez, Gonzalo Rodríguez, Figueroa for César Arzo, Peña, Guayre / Betis: Luis Fernández, Cañas for Varela, Edu.

Goals: None.

Villarreal and Betis came in to their game with a Champions League place at stake, but in the end they cancelled each other out in a 0-0 draw. The locals started the match in fourth place in the table, with their opponents just a point behind in fifth, Pellegrini's side looking to put their midweek defeat in the UEFA cup behind them. And although the first effort on target came from the visitors when Reina had to turn a Marcos Assunçao free kick away for a corner, the rest of the first half was dominated by the home side. Diego Forlán put a couple of shots wide, the second with only Doblas to beat, and the keeper did well to tip a long shot from Armando Sá over the bar, the Andalusians complaining that the ball should have been put out of play with one of their players lying injured.

Betis had only had one other chance in the first half, another dangerous free kick from Assunçao which the Brazilian midfielder put wide. And after the restart Reina was just a bystander as the locals bore down looking for the winner. Riquelme crashed a long shot against the bar and Doblas recovered quickly to tip Forlán's header over the bar on the rebound. And the keeper kept out a series of shots after that, including one reflex save when José Marí deflected Riquelme's free kick goalwards. It was no Villarreal's day though, and they had to settle for a point which at least, with Sevilla losing the day before, takes them back up to third.