Liga - Zaragoza and Malaga in stalemate

Sun, 25 Sep 23:14:00 2011

Real Zaragoza and Malaga played out a dull 0-0 draw in La Liga at the Estadio La Romareda, with neither team able to gain the upper hand for any period of time and chances at a premium.

Zaragoza's defender Javier Paredes (C-L) vies with Malaga's French midfielder Jeremy Toulalan (C-R ) during their Spanish League football match, on September 25, 2011 at La Romareda stadium in Zaragoza - 0

Malaga missed the chance to go top of the table as their newly assembled and expensive outfit failed to create more than a couple of clear cut openings in the 90 minutes.

Ruud Van Nistelrooy was denied early on and in the last minute Seba Fernandez's header was saved brilliantly by Roberto. Malaga's closest chance came when Helder Postiga put in the net, but he was incorrectly called up for offside.

The first half was a timid affair with very few chances for either side. Malaga predictably dominated possession, but struggled to find an opening with Van Nistelrooy and Julio Baptista both struggling to make an impact up front.

The best chance fell to Van Nistelrooy in the seventh minute. Joaquin played a clever reverse pass through a mass of defenders and the Dutchman hit a first time shot that Roberto Jimenez charged down. He had a second bite of the cherry following the save, but was pushed wide and Roberto blocked again with his feet.

David Mateos went off with a muscle problem after about half an hour, but it made little difference to the flow of the game, with both teams lacking the imagination to create any further clear-cut chances.

The second half was more of the same until the hour mark. Postiga was put through on goal with time to pick his spot. He put the ball neatly away into the far corner, but as he pulled the trigger the linesman flagged for offside, though replays suggested he was level.

In the last minute the best chance of the match fell to Seba after Isco beat the offside trap and whipped in a cross to the back post. The Uruguayan met it with his head and powered it towards goal, but Roberto pulled off a fine save, forcing Malaga to settle for the point.

Tom Embury-Dennis / Eurosport

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