Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova thinks Jose Mourinho is lucky to be still in charge of Real Madrid.
The Camp Nou boss claimed he would have been sacked if the Catalan club had fallen 18 points behind their rivals from the Santiago Bernabeu in the title race.
That is the difference between the sides after Barcelona defeated Malaga 3-1 at the weekend and Real Madrid could only draw 0-0 with bottom club Osasuna.
Barcelona are now 11 points clear of Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga asnd are yet to lose a game, winning 18 out of 19.
Asked if he felt there was no way back for los Blancos in the championship race, Vilanova insisted nothing was over yet, before then hinting that his counterpart at the Bernabeu was perhaps fortunate to still be in charge.
The 43-year-old articulated this by suggesting he would not be long in his role Blaugrana boss if their roles were reversed and it was Mourinho whose team was 18 points in front.
"No,” was his initial response to the title race question, quoted by Spanish newspaper AS.
“But if the situation was the other way round, I wouldn't be here to answer that question.”
Mourinho could see this as something of a dig at Real Madrid’s recent poor league form, but Vilanova also said the current champions were by no means out of the race and warned his Barcelona players that they had to stay focused.
“Madrid are capable of winning every game in the second half of the season and we are capable of losing those points,” he added.
“We are not talking about four games, there are a lot of games left. I know that things can change very quickly. As soon as you lose two games, you look worse as a coach.”
Mourinho and Vilanova have a history of conflict as both were banned after a ruckus between the sides in last season’s Spanish Super Cup, where the former Chelsea boss was seen gouging the then Barcelona assistant manager.
However, both have said the incident is now forgotten and there is no longer problem after Mourinho accepted responsibility for the incident.