Real Madrid coach Rafael Benitez was left frustrated as Los Blancos threw away the chance to move back to the top of La Liga with a 0-0 draw at home to Malaga on Saturday.
Madrid had 31 shots on goal at the Santiago Bernabeu, but couldn’t find a way past an inspired Carlos Kameni in the Malaga goal to fall a point behind Barcelona in the title race.
“When the opposition goalkeeper is the man-of-the-match it means you have at least done your job attacking and created so many chances he has had to be intervene a lot,” said Benitez.
Madrid now have dropped four points in their opening six league games due to two scoreless draws after opening their campaign with a stalemate at Sporting Gijon.
Cristiano Ronaldo had an early goal ruled out for offside before Kameni got down well to twice turn efforts from Jese Rodriguez behind.
Madrid launched wave upon wave of attack towards the Malaga goal, but were repelled by Kameni as he made an incredible save to deny a fiercely struck volley from Ronaldo as his wait to become the club’s all-time leading scorer continued.
Malaga also had their chances to win the game, though, as Keylor Navas produced a stunning save from Juan Carlos’s free-kick, whilst Nordin Amrabat fired wide with just Navas to beat.
And Benitez believes they have to stay calm as the clock ticks down against tiring legs in the future.
“I think during most of the match we attacked well from the wings and through the middle. Perhaps in the last five minutes we lacked the calm to keep moving the ball,” he added.
“We are still at the start of the season and to create so much is very positive. We have to work on preventing the counter-attacks they had and maintaining our calm in the final minutes.
“Obviously it isn’t something we like but when you look at the two games and the number of shots on goal and chances we’ve had, the only thing you can do is take your chances and keep our head in the last five minutes.”
Isco’s effort was cleared off the line by Weligton
Captain Weligton deflected a goalbound header from Ronaldo wide and cleared off the line when Isco had squeezed a shot past Kameni.
Madrid did appear to have the ball over the line at one point as Isco’s effort was cleared from behind the goal line by Malaga defender Weligton. However, Madrid claimed the ball had crossed the line before the Brazilian hooked the ball to safety and there was another controversial call seconds later as Amrabat was shown a straight red card for an elbow on Marcelo.
Unlike in the Premier League, there is no use of goal line technology in La Liga and Benitez called for its introduction.
“I haven’t seen the replay. The goal line technology that they use in other leagues can always help the referee.”
Ronaldo had one final chance to snatch all three points at the death, but his header from point-blank range flew over as the hosts were left frustrated.