Santander hold Barcelona

Madrid, August 27:

Coach Frank Rijkaard didn’t start with his “Fantastic Four” and FC Barcelona was held to a 0-0 draw against 10-man Racing Santander on Sunday in the first round of the Spanish La Liga.

New signing Thierry Henry entered as a 62nd-minute substitute for Lionel Messi but the former Arsenal striker’s presence alongside Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto’o created only a few scoring chances Barca.

All newly promoted teams won in the first round: Almeria won at Deportivo La Coruna 3-0 and Valladolid beat Espanyol 1-0 in on Sunday, a day after Murcia upset UEFA Cup qualifier Zaragoza 2-1.

Striker Giusepe Rossi converted a penalty while Jon Dahl Tomasson and Santiago Cazorla added the others to lead Villarreal over 10-man Valencia 3-0. Striker David Villa was ejected in the 40th minute with his team trailing 1-0 after receiving his second yellow card.

Also Sunday, it was: Mallorca 3, Levante 0; Recreativo Huelva 1, Real Betis 1; and Athletic Bilbao 0, Osasuna 0.