Real Madrid did not get a lucky break, as La Liga leaders Barcelona extended their advantage over Los Blancos to eleven points ahead of El Clasico. Real’s arch-rivals comfortably dispatched Deportivo la Coruna 4-0 at Camp Nou on Sunday night.
Elsewhere in La Liga, Sevilla played a 0-0 draw with Levante on Friday night, keeping them two points behind Real Madrid in the standings. Valencia lost 2-1 away to Eibar on Saturday, allowing Atletico Madrid to move up to second and within six points of Barca, after a 1-0 victory at home to Deportivo Alaves.
Real did not play in La Liga this weekend, as they were in Abu Dhabi for the Club World Cup. Having beaten Al Jazira on Wednesday to advance to the final, they won 1-0 against Gremio on Saturday to lift the trophy. It is Real Madrid’s fifth trophy win in 2017 but they will be quick to switch their focus back to domestic action.
El Clasico Pivotal In La Liga Title Race
Real Madrid play host to Barcelona at midday on Saturday 23rd December and it’s a match that could shape the second half of the season. The hosts have an eleven point deficit to the league leaders but crucially have a game in hand.
If Zinedine Zidane can get his tactics and team selection right to mastermind a victory, then we will head into the winter break with that lead cut back to eight points. Taking into consideration Real’s game in hand, they would still have hope of catching Barcelona.
Anything less and it’s difficult to see them being reeled in. Of course, it will still be mathematically possible for Los Blancos to win La Liga but it would come down to Barcelona dropping a stack of points. Unless they suffer an injury crisis, then it’s unlikely that Barca would let such a lead slip.