Text size

Real Madrid's faint hopes of retaining its La Liga title receded further when it had Kaka sent off and was held to a 0-0 draw at struggling Osasuna yesterday.

Jose Mourinho's side appeared lost without inspirational top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo, suspended for the game in Pamplona, and unbeaten leader Barcelona can go 18 points clear of its arch rival with a win at fourth-placed Malaga today. Real stays third on 37 points, four behind Atletico Madrid, which meets Real Zaragoza at home today.

In a poor-quality and bad-tempered clash at Osasuna's Reyno de Navarra stadium, the main incident came in the 76th minute when Kaka was shown a second yellow card for preventing Osasuna taking a quick free kick. The little-used Brazilian playmaker had been on the pitch for a little over a quarter of an hour and had been booked moments after coming off the bench for jumping with a flailing arm.

It was the 2007 World Player of the Year's first sending off since he joined Real from AC Milan in 2009.

Osasuna's well-earned point lifted it off the bottom of the table above Deportivo La Coruna, which plays at Real Sociedad today.