Real Sociedad goalkeeper Alex Remiro made a string of fine saves to frustrate Real Madrid in a 0-0 draw Sunday, leaving Barcelona five points clear at the top of La Liga.
After the Catalans beat Girona on Saturday Madrid needed to win to stay three points behind their rivals in the title race, but Remiro ensured otherwise, keeping third-place La Real on the champions' tail.
The draw continues a mixed start to 2023 for Real Madrid, slipping further behind Barcelona in the league and losing against them in the Spanish Super Cup final, but reaching the Copa del Rey semis on Thursday with an extra-time win over Atletico Madrid.
Madrid constructed some slick moves in the first half, with Brazilian wingers Vinicius and Rodrygo incessant threats.
The former curled inches wide after a sensational nutmeg on Igor Zubeldia, while the latter teed up Karim Benzema with a backheel, but Remiro saved comfortably.
Vinicius should have opened the scoring before the break but his shot was well kept out by Remiro, the visitors' last line of defence.
Remiro made another smart save from the Brazilian winger early in the second half with his leg to keep his team level, while Fede Valverde hammered a shot wide from distance as Madrid flowed forward.