Real Madrid fell nine points behind Barcelona in La Liga after drawing 0-0 at Villarreal.
The closest Madrid came to breaking the deadlock was when David Beckham produced a trademark free-kick which hit the bar.
Madrid rested star players Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Roberto Carlos and Raul ahead of their crucial Champions League game against Roma on Wednesday.
Beckham, who was substituted midway through the second half after injured his foot in a challenge with Juan Pablo Sorin, has vowed to play on Wendesday.
The England captain said: “I hurt my foot in training and I played because I thought I would be all right but the tackle aggravated it.
“I will have more treatment but I think I should be okay for Wednesday.”
Meanwhile, leaders Barcelona maintained their imperious form with a 4-0 hammering of Malaga on Saturday, with Samuel Eto’o scoring twice.
Elsewhere, Espanyol climbed into the top three after Raul Tamudo marked his return with the only goal against Real Zaragoza.