Malaga miss out on Spanish breakthrough

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Malaga against Real Zaragoza
Madrid, Sep 26: Big-spending Malaga squandered a golden opportunity to top La Liga for the first time when they were held to a 0-0 draw at Real Zaragoza.

Malaga, who were taken over by billionaire Qatari Sheikh Abdullah al-Thani last year, saw a string of chances come and go with their best opening falling to Ruud Van Nistlerooy on eight minutes yesterday.

After being put through with a majestic pass by Joaquin Sanchez the Dutch veteran''s shot was blocked by Zaragoza goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez.

The goalkeeper came to Zaragoza's rescue again in the last minute with a superb reflex save to keep out a header from substitute Seba Fernandez.

The draw left the Costa del Sol club in sixth place, level with Valencia and Real Madrid on 10 points, but two behind leaders Real Betis who play at Getafe on Monday.

Levante defeated nine-man Espanyol 3-1 to go third, a third win in three matches to illustrate their victory over Real Madrid last weekend was no fluke.

The modest Valencia-based club have 11 points, the same as second-placed Barcelona, and trail the champions only on goal difference after a week which also saw them beat Real 1-0 last Sunday and Rayo Vallecano 2-1 in midweek.

Levante went ahead in the 12th minute with the first of Ruben Suarez's two penalties, after Rui Fonte had tripped Juanlu Gomez. 

AFP

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