Real Madrid moved seven points clear at the top of La Liga with a comfortable 3-1 win over bottom side Real Zaragoza as Barcelona could only draw 0-0 at lowly Villarreal on Saturday.
The league leaders recovered quickly from their midweek King’s Cup quarterfinal exit to arch-rivals Barca and it was Pep Guardiola’s victors who seemed to suffer a hangover. Barca’s pursuit of a fourth consecutive league title is now an even tougher task as they seek to catch Jose Mourinho’s men after yet another poor showing on the road where five draws and one defeat has taken it’s toll.
Real’s 17th win from 20 league games left them top on 52 points, with Barca second on 45. Valencia, in third with 35, visit Racing Santander on Sunday.
The European and Spanish champions were down to the bare bones at the Madrigal with Pedro a late addition to their growing injury list that includes the striker David Villa and midfielder Andres Iniesta.
Lionel Messi lobbed just wide during a stale first half as Barca lacked their usual zip against a side who started the day in 17th place having won their first game in 11 attempts last weekend. “The league isn’t over yet, there is still a long way to go,” Messi said. “We just lacked a bit of luck tonight. All we lacked was a goal.”
FA agrees to no handshakes
The FA agreed after talks with Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers that no handshakes would take place before their FA Cup fifth round match, “in an attempt to further diffuse tensions”. Blues skipper John Terry has been charged with racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand in a league game in October and he is due in court next week.reuters