After enjoying relatively calm seas during his first six months in charge of Real Madrid, all eyes will be on Jose Mourinho to see how he weathers his first major storm with the Spanish giants following Monday night's 5-0 mauling against Barcelona.
Madrid lost both first place in La Liga and their unbeaten record under Mourinho, and the question now is how the big-spending capital club will bounce back from being what the Spanish press described as 'humiliated', 'thrashed' and 'ridiculed' by their biggest rivals.
Following the heaviest defeat of his coaching career - the former Chelsea and Inter Milan coach said: "We must have character. You cannot cry when you concede four or five goals. You must be anxious to return to work and win the next match. After such a bad match you must go right back to work, play and win."
Mourinho has been keen to stress throughout his side's impressive start to the season that new-look Madrid will be a work in progress for the foreseeable future, and Monday night's Nou Camp encounter showed the Whites are not the finished product yet.
General director Jorge Valdano believes the heavy defeat could serve as a valuable lesson to Mourinho's developing side - which included five players aged 23 or under in th starting line-up Pep Guardiola's men and four players making their Clasico debuts
"It's been a game which will help us understand football at the highest level and to continue maturing. Madrid is a team for men and situations like this test your manliness. We will all know how to overcome this situation," Valdano said.
Barca's win puts them in pole position in the Primera Division standings and also, if recent history is anything to go by, on course to retain their title.
In the last six seasons the winner of the first Clasico of the campaign would go on to end the season as champions. However, both Madrid and Barca have been keen to play down the importance of Monday's result with regards to the title race.
Valdano, whose club have gone two years without any silverware while in the same time watching Barca claim eight trophies, said: "We have very good players, a competent coach and this cannot be a decisive blow (in the title race) in the 13th week of the season."
Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso added: "We did not expect this, but there is still a lot of season left and nothing has finished. We are not happy, but we shouldn't jump to conclusions. We must only look towards the future."
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