Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui said his side deserved to take all three points after being held to a 0-0 draw by Atletico Madrid at the Bernabeu.
Visitors Atletico had the better chances before the break, with Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois denying his former side's strikers Antoine Griezmann and Diego Costa.
The hosts then edged the second half, with young attacker Marco Asensio nearly scoring with a close-range effort that was well saved by Atletico keeper Jan Oblak.
Following Wednesday's 3-0 defeat at Sevilla, Real have now failed to score in two successive La Liga games for the first time since 2011.
The Los Blancos' coach told the postmatch news conference that he felt his team had dominated the game and deserved to win, while lamenting "adversity" which included another muscle injury for galactico Gareth Bale.
"We have not won the game because we have not scored a goal," Lopetegui said. "But we were far superior to Atletico Madrid, in the end of first half and entire second half.
"Against a great team like Atletico Madrid we pinned them back, created many more chances than they did, overcome the adversity and injuries we have and played a very good game. But if you do not score then, logically, you cannot win."
Madrid and Barcelona remain joint top of a tight La Liga table, with Atletico in fourth two points back. Lopetegui was asked if he felt his team had missed an opportunity in not taking advantage of Barcelona taking just two points from their last three games.
"We do not look at our rivals results, just at our own situation," he said. "This is a long, hard league, and each game has maximum difficulty for all the teams. We showed character, personality, pride and that is the path to follow in each game. If you do not show that, then you can have a fright.
"There are many games left to play. Atletico are a great team, have joined the elite with magnificent signings, have a spectacular squad. They are candidates to win everything, so I am happy as we were better than a great team tonight."
Lopetegui said it was too early yet to say how long Bale would be out for, with Oct. 28's Clasico at Barcelona already coming into view, while praising the contribution of young midfielder Dani Ceballos off the bench.
"Gareth felt an issue in his abductor in the first half," Lopetegui said. "It made sense to take him off for precaution. He will have tests tomorrow, we will see what he actually has.
"We coaches have to look for solutions, and I believe fully in my squad. Dani, for example, came on today and did fantastic. He showed the personality and character he has, his physical and technical gifts. I felt he was what the game needed."
Lopetegui's lack of options in attack was highlighted when 18-year-old Brazilian starlet Vinicius Jr was thrown on late for his La Liga debut.
"Apart from the first half in Sevilla, we have had good attitude and played well," the former Spain coach maintained. "The goals will come, I have no doubt about that. We created many chances, if we keep doing that, I have no doubt the goals will come."
Atletico coach Diego Simeone had a different view of the game when speaking to the press, with the Argentine saying that on balance the draw had been a fair result as each team had dominated one half.
"If I had left at half-time I would have felt quite disappointed, but after the second half you feel it was a fair result," Simeone said. "We played very well in the first half, and the effort we put in showed later in the game.
Recent slips from Real and Barcelona have allowed Atletico to make up the ground lost when they dropped points in their opening fixtures, with this result extending their unbeaten La Liga run at the Bernabeu to six seasons.
"We do not compare ourselves with Madrid nor Barcelona, but with the best Atletico in history," Simeone said. "That could be this group, we must keep improving what we are doing. We find it normal to get results at this stadium. It was a pity not to win today."