BARCELONA, Spain — Three days after Barcelona ended Real Madrid's Copa del Rey title defense, the Spanish champions' own hopes of a fourth successive league title suffered a setback in a 0-0 draw at Villarreal on Saturday.
Barcelona's slip let Madrid move seven points clear of its fierce rival just past the season's midway point through its earlier 3-1 comeback win over last-place Zaragoza.
Lionel Messi missed with a chip shot early, and Cesc Fabregas hit the crossbar late in Barcelona's best scoring chances.
Zaragoza started well at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium with Angel Lafita scoring an 11th-minute opener.
But Kaka leveled for Madrid in the 32nd, and Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Oezil added two more shortly after halftime to decide the game.