Real Madrid failed to break down a stubborn Villarreal on Sunday evening, labouring to a drab 0-0 draw at Santiago Bernabeu.
Thibaut Courtois came to the rescue after 12 minutes, dropping down to his left and making a stunning save to tip Arnaut Danjuma's low strike around the post with a strong fingertip.
The Belgian goalkeeper was called into action again shortly after, palming Paco Alcacer's drive away, while Francis Coquelin's follow-up effort was blocked by some brave Madrid defending.
Los Blancos felt they should have been awarded a penalty towards the end of the first half, but the referee did not think the block on Nacho Fernandez warranted a spot-kick, and play moved on.
Madrid came close to breaking the deadlock five minutes into the second half, as Eder Militao met Marco Asensio's free-kick but planted his header wide of the near post. The hosts survived a huge scare soon after, when Courtois and the defence missed their interceptions, but the ball floated across the goal line and to safety.
Carlo Ancelotti's men struggled to carve out many clear-cut chances against the stubborn Yellow Submarine, and eventually had to settle for a point, much to the disappoint of the Merengues supporters in the stadium.
Here are the Madrid player ratings.
Real Madrid player ratings
1. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Thibaut Courtois (GK) - 8/10 - Produced a mind-blowing stop from Danjuma's goal-bound effort to keep the scores level. Preserved Madrid's clean sheet with two more top saves.
Federico Valverde (RB) - 6/10 - Ripped to shreds on that right hand side by the tricky Danjuma. Not his fault that he's being played out of position, in fairness.
Eder Militao (CB) - 7/10 - Struggled as the visitors found quite a bit of joy down that side of the defence. Pressed high and pinched the ball back in all the right areas.
David Alaba (CB) - 7/10 - Excellent on the ball and made the right decision more often than not. A calming addition to this backline.
Nacho Fernandez (LB) - 6/10 - Wanted a penalty in the first half after careering into a Villarreal defender, but the referee was having none of it. Not a natural left-back, and it showed.
Luka Modric (CM) - 7/10 - 36 years old and still gliding around the pitch like he's just won Dancing on Ice. Picked out Benzema with the outside of his boot with breathless ease, but the Frenchman was offside in front of goal.
Casemiro (CM) - 6/10 - Had to dig in during the opening 45 minutes as Villarreal charged forward. Gave Rodrygo a stern talking to over his lack of defensive discipline.
Marco Asensio (CM) - 6/10 - Couldn't get on the ball in any dangerous positions, and never quite looked like making the impact he's had in recent weeks.
Rodrygo (RW) - 5/10 - Couldn't get to grips with the pace of the game and wasn't willing to do the defensive work needed. Subbed at half-time as Ancelotti grew impatient.
Karim Benzema (ST) - 6/10 - Dropped deep to collect the ball and drove at the heart of the Villarreal defence, but couldn't pick out his attacking teammates with balls between the lines. Had a snapshot but couldn't sneak the ball past Geronimo Rulli.
Vinicius Jr (LW) - 6/10 - Cut a frustrated figure in the first half, and was even handed a yellow card for his troubles. Dazzling and almost unstoppable when he gets going.
Eduardo Camavinga (CM) - 7/10 - Industrious in midfield as Asensio was pushed out into a wide area. A quality addition.
Eden Hazard (LW) - 6/10
Isco (CM) - N/A