Madrid: Cameroonian goalkeeper Carlos Kameni played the game of his life to lead Malaga to a 0-0 draw against mighty Real Madrid.
Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema (R) and Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo look on during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF vs Malaga CF at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid. Pic/AFP
Madrid started the day in first place in the standings but now trail surprising league-leaders Villarreal, 1-0 winners on Saturday night over Atletico Madrid, and second-place FC Barcelona after six games played, reports Efe.
The two teams' ball-possession struggles at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium led to numerous counter-attacking forays, although the requisite precision was lacking to break down the defensive walls erected by Kameni and Costa Rican goalie Keylor Navas.
Malaga's defenders also did their part, holding off Real Madrid's veritable second-half siege of their goal and maintaining their poise and grit even after Moroccan midfielder Nordin Amrabat was sent off in the 77th minute for a malicious elbow to the face of Madrid defender Marcelo.
Malaga has not yet scored in this La Liga campaign so far and earned its third 0-0 draw of the season.
Real Madrid has been even stingier, surrendering just one goal through six matches, but it now finds itself in third place despite a league-best plus 13 goal difference.
Yet despite Madrid's frustrating night, defending champions FC Barcelona had a much worse Saturday, losing Argentine superstriker Lionel Messi for up to eight weeks with a knee injury in the Catalans' 2-1 win over Las Palmas at the Camp Nou stadium.