Real Madrid held on for a goalless draw against Barcelona in a match that was overshadowed by events off the pitch.

The referee called a halt to proceedings when he led the players off the pitch in response to array of missiles being hurled at Real’s former Barca man Luis Figo.

Referee Luis Medina Cantalejo led the players off the pitch midway through the second half after Figo, who was preparing to take a corner, was showered by missiles from the hostile home crowd. Ironically, the Portuguese international seemed reluctant to leave the pitch and was the last Real man to head forthe dressing rooms.

The game eventually restarted although the level of hostility directed at Luis Figo barely subsided but significantly, the delay appeared to affect the rythmn of the home side and despite late pressure Barca were unable to pierce the Real rearguard, for whom keeper Iker Casillas was in outstanding form. The one time Csaillas was beaten, defender Michel Salgado was on hand to clear off the line.

Barca, who dominated proceedings, were unble to convert their abundant possession into goals and a Real side without the injured Zidane and flu-ridden Ronaldo, were content to emerge from the encounter with a point.

Elsewhere, leaders Real Sociedad were held to a goalless draw at Ray Vallecano. Deportivo La Coruna missed the chance to move back into the top three when they were held to a 1-1 draw at Sevilla.