Real Madrid held to see lead cut to four points in Spain

Real Madrid defender Pepe shows his frustration in his side's 0-0 draw at home to Valencia.

Story highlights

  • Real Madrid held to 0-0 draw by Valencia
  • Barcelona four points behind in La Liga title race
  • Europa League challengers Athletic Bilbao beat Sevilla 1-0
  • Schalke boost Champions League hopes with 3-0 win over Hannover

Real Madrid saw their lead in Spain's La Liga cut to just four points after being held to a 0-0 draw by Valencia Sunday.

Barcelona's 4-1 win over Zaragoza -- their ninth in a row -- had put the pressure on Real, who were unable to respond with a victory of their own in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

Cristiano Ronaldo hit the post for Jose Mourinho's men as they pressed early on, but their effort petered out and third-placed Valencia had chances of their own.

Ricardo Costa and Tino Costa saw their efforts denied by the woodwork in each half and Jordi Alba could not convert after being one-on-one with Iker Casillas.

But Real staged a late rally and Karim Benzema was denied by a double save from keeper Vicente Guaita.

They have now drawn three of their last five La Liga games as defending champions Barcelona have sliced into their lead.

The title could be decided by the second El Clasico league clash of the season and they are favored to meet again in the final of the Champions League.

In other La Liga action Sunday, Europa League semifinalists Athletic Bilbao beat Sevilla 1-0 and Levante kept up their bid for European football next season with a 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid.

In Gernany's Bundelisga, Schalke recovered from their midweek Europa League exit to Bilbao with a 3-0 win over Hannover.

Peruvian Jefferson Farfan set up all three goals for Schalke with Raul scoring two of them.

Klaas Jan Huntelaar added the other, his 24th of the season.

Hamburg stayed in relegation trouble after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Bayer Leverkusen.

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