Barcelona Held to 0-0 Draw at Villarreal in Spain
BARCELONA, Spain —Three days after Barcelona ended Real Madrid’s Copa del Rey title defense, the Spanish champions’ own hopes of a fourth successive league title suffered a setback in a 0-0 draw at Villarreal on Saturday.
Barcelona’s slip let Madrid move seven points clear of its fierce rival on top of the standings just past the season’s midway point, thanks to its earlier 3-1 comeback win over last-place Zaragoza.
The Catalan side’s troubles away from home, where it has dropped 13 of 30 points in play, compounded by an attack thinned by injuries took their toll at El Madrigal Stadium.
Lionel Messi missed with a chip shot early, and Cesc Fabregas hit the crossbar late in Barcelona’s best scoring chances against a Villarreal that did well to hold off the visitors’ late surge.
“There are 18 games left to play, and I want to fight for every point just like we did here tonight,” Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said. “Playing like this we will have a good season. I have no reproaches for my players.”
By AP, 29/01/2012