MADRID, Sept 21 (Reuters) - The demands of balancing domestic and European campaigns appeared to weigh heavy on Real Sociedad as they were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Malaga in La Liga on Saturday.
The San Sebastian-based club are back in the Champions League for the first time in a decade but suffered a shock 2-0 defeat at home to Shakhtar Donetsk in their opening Group A game during the week.
And they made a slow start against Malaga at Anoeta, with the visitors looking the more dangerous in a tight first half with few chances.
Sociedad slowly established themselves in the contest, with Imanol Agirretxe spurning a good opening and Jose Angel putting a free kick just over, but too often they were frustrated by Malaga's offside trap.
The last 15 minutes saw Malaga's Roque Santa Cruz twice go close to breaking the deadlock, and Sociedad's young boss Jagoba Arrasate will have been the most concerned at the end as his side completed a third consecutive game without scoring.
Sociedad stayed seventh with six points from five games, six behind joint leaders Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, who play later on Saturday.
Atletico visit Real Valladolid and champions Barca play at Rayo Vallecano.
(Reporting by Mark Elkington, editing by Stephen Wood)