Embarrassed 10-man Real Madrid held to 0-0 tie at last-place Osasuna
By Joseph Wilson ,APBARCELONA -- Ten-man Real Madrid slumped to a dire 0-0 draw at Osasuna in the Spanish league as coach Jose Mourinho failed to compensate for the absence of top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo on Saturday.
January 14, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
With Ronaldo serving a one-game suspension, Madrid's pedestrian attack didn't manage a shot between the posts until injury time and was lucky to avoid a loss to the relegation-threatened Osasuna.
Mourinho sent on Karim Benzema, Mesut Oezil and Kaka as luxury reinforcements to try and jump start his attack after halftime, but Kaka lasted 18 minutes on the pitch before receiving his second booking in the 76th minute and his teammates never seriously threatened.
“Maybe we were lacking some spark tonight,” said Madrid defender Raul Albiol. “Even though we are way behind Barcelona, we wanted to win the game.”
Elsewhere, three homes teams earned wins as Valencia beat Sevilla 2-0, Valladolid downed Mallorca 3-1, and Espanyol edged out Celta Vigo 1-0.
Madrid is in a distant third place with only one win in its last four league games. The draw left it 15 points behind Barcelona before the league leader visits Malaga on Sunday.
If Barcelona wins at La Rosaleda Stadium, 18 points would be Madrid's largest deficit since it was 20 points behind league-leading Atletico Madrid in May 1996.
“I don't want to explain why we can be 18 points behind Barcelona,” Mourinho said.