Real Madrid failed to capitalise on Barcelona’s surprise 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao on Saturday as they were held to a 0-0 draw by city rivals Atletico Madrid in La Liga Saturday night.
Reeling from the humiliating defeat at Sevilla midweek, Los Blancos were thwarted by two outstanding saves by Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak as they remain second on goal difference to log leaders Barca.
Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois also made two exceptional saves to frustrate Atletico strikers Antoine Griezmann and Diego Costa in the first half while Gareth Bale was forced off at halftime with a suspected groin problem.
Bale had come close to scoring for Real, who improved after the interval and almost snatched a winner in stoppage time when captain Sergio Ramos headed narrowly wide from a corner.
Slovenian international Oblak helped Atletico withstand a flurry of Real attacks, denying Marco Asensio at point-blank range and later turning away a stinging shot from Dani Carvajal from inside the area.
Real are joint-top of the standings, locked on 14 points with Barcelona, who have a slightly superior goal difference despite stumbling to a draw with Bilbao after starting the game with talisman Lionel Messi on the bench.
Atletico, on 12 points, drop down to fourth, while Sevilla climb into third with 13 points after winning 3-1 at Eibar in a game that had to be stopped for several minutes after a barrier collapsed injuring several fans.
Earlier in the day, Valencia finally picked up a first win of the season by beating Real Sociedad 1-0 away, helped by goalkeeper Neto saving a penalty from Willian Jose.