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50-50 Challenge: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona

El Clasico 1 day ago
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Cobos: Neymar stronger in 2014-15

Barcelona 1 day ago
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By ESPN Staff
Aug 27, 2006

Capello's Real held to draw by Villarreal

MADRID, Aug 27 (Reuters) - A new-look Real Madrid started the season in disappointing style when they were held to a 0-0 draw by Villarreal at the Bernabeu on Sunday.

Fielding all four of their signings, Fabio Capello's side gave a solid display in defence but lacked ideas in attack and were jeered off the pitch by their fans at the final whistle.

'I'm not worried,' Capello said after the match. 'Villarreal were the worst team we could have played at this stage of the season.

'We've got some high-quality players but we lack a bit of spark at the moment.'

The game of the day was at the Riazor where Deportivo Coruna came back from a goal down to beat Real Zaragoza 3-2, while Gimnastic Tarragona marked their return to the top flight after a 56-year absence with a 1-0 win at Espanyol.

Bernd Schuster's Getafe took a surprise 2-0 victory at Osasuna and neighbours Atletico Madrid also got off to a winning start when an early strike from Fernando Torres earned them a 1-0 win at Racing Santander.

The visitors had to play the second half with 10 men after new signing Yourkas Seitaridis was sent off for a reckless tackle on Racing midfielder Felipe Melo just before the break.

Valencia opened the season on Saturday with a 2-1 win over Real Betis. Athletic Bilbao host Real Sociedad in the Basque derby in Sunday's late match.

Barcelona do not start their quest for a third successive league title until Monday when they travel to Celta Vigo, while Sevilla, who demolished the Frank Rijkaard's side 3-0 in the European Super Cup on Friday, host promoted Levante on Tuesday.

Real Madrid's new signings, Fabio Cannavaro, Emerson, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Mahamadou Diarra made the starting line-up against Villarreal but were unable to help Capello to a winning start on his return to the Bernabeu.

There was plenty of muscle in midfield and defence, but up front Real rarely managed to trouble Villarreal keeper Sebastian Viera and it was the visitors who had the best scoring chances of the match.

Deportivo coach Joaquin Caparros carried out a cull of the club's more experienced players in the close season, but his young charges did themselves proud against Zaragoza.

A close-range strike from new signing Juan Rodriguez and a penalty from fellow midfielder Sergio wiped out Diego Milito's early goal for Zaragoza.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men when defender Juanfran was dismissed for picking up a second booking 20 minutes from time and former Atletico forward Angel Arizmendi took advantage of the extra space to make it 3-1 soon after.

Brazilian striker Ewerthon grabbed a late consolation for Zaragoza.