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Real lose top spot after drawing blank at Levante

The frustration shows for Real's Gonzalo Higuian in the goalless draw at Levante.
The frustration shows for Real's Gonzalo Higuian in the goalless draw at Levante.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Real Madrid held to disappointing goalless draw at Levante in La Liga
  • Jose Mourinho's men have struggled to find the net this season
  • Valencia beat Sporting Gijon to take over at the top in Spain
  • Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao 3-1 in late game to go second

(CNN) -- Real Madrid gave up top spot in Spain's La Liga to Valencia after a disappointing goalless draw at promoted Levante on Saturday.

Goals have proved in short supply for Real this season with just six in five games and they once again struggled to find the net against lowly opposition.

The draw leaves them two points behind Valencia, who won 2-0 at Sporting Gijon to make it 13 points out of 15 from five games.

The defeat was compounded by a battling 3-1 win for Real's arch rivals and defending champions Barcelona at Athletic Bilbao in the late game in Spain.

Barca move up to second above Real with 12 points after goals from Seydou Keita, Xavi and Sergi Busquets sealed the win.

Bilbao had been reduced to 10 men following the dismissal of Fernando Amorebieta on 33 minutes, but Barca's David Villa was sent off as well near the end of a pulsating match.

Jose Mourinho's Real were playing their fifth game in 14 days and signs of fatigue were evident as they were shaken out of their stride by an abrasive home side.

We weren't thinking about the Champions League whatsoever and our two early goals really hurt them
--Unai Emery
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Argentine star Gonzalo Higuian should have put them ahead early in the match while Cristiano Ronaldo saw a header well saved by home goalkeeper Manolo Reina.

The Portuguese ace also nearly scored after a poor backpass, but sent his effort wide.

Real will now turn their attentions to a Champions League match against Auxerre on Tuesday while Valencia warmed up for their clash 24 hours later against Manchester United in some style.

Turkish midfielder Mehmet Topal and Spain striker Roberto Soldado scored their first league goals for the club to clinch three points at Sporting.

"We weren't thinking about the Champions League whatsoever and our two early goals really hurt them," Valencia coach Unai Emery told AFP.