Real Madrid’s 2-1 defeat to Valencia on Wednesday night is bound to breathe new life into Barcelona’s title charge.
Los Blancos squandered the chance to establish a four-point lead over their rivals as they suffered their first defeat in seven matches.
Barcelona must be thanking their lucky stars. Luis Enrique’s team have been below par for much of the season but somehow find themselves just a point back with plenty of matches remaining.
Madrid trailed by two goals to nil at the Estadio de Mestalla last night, and Zinedine Zidane lamented his team’s slow start.
"The truth is we lost the game in the first 10 minutes," the Frenchman said, via ESPN FC.
"We started well with the ball, playing football, had a chance to score. But we made mistakes at the back, they had players between the lines all the time, and they scored two goals. We were very open, and they punished us.
"Then we had 80 minutes to come back into the game. We had chances to do that, but we lacked many things today. There was a chance to pick up points, which we did not do.
"We did not do badly with the ball, on the contrary, we did well. Maybe we lacked a bit of cleverness in the final pass, but that's it. They defended very deep, together, were better than us in the air, and that's that."
More twists to come
There could yet more twists to come this weekend. Madrid and Barca both have tricky away matches; the leaders are at Villarreal, while Lionel Messi and co. take on Atletico Madrid.
Madrid want a La Liga title
Presuming Barcelona are unable to recover their 4-0 deficit against Paris Saint-Germain in Europe, their focus will turn entirely to La Liga.
But Madrid cannot key in on just one tournament yet. They could well have a Champions League quarter-final to come following last week’s 3-1 win against Napoli.
Barca would trade places in an instant, of course, but there’s a growing desire within the Bernabeu to see Madrid win the La Liga title.
Not since 2012 have Los Blancos been Spanish champions. And there will be an inquiry if they blow their chance this season.
Cristiano's outburst at full-time
The need to claim a title could perhaps explain Cristiano Ronaldo’s actions after yesterday’s defeat.
According to Spanish channel Cuatro, brought to our attention by AS, the Portuguese star shouted: “I scored a goal, what did you do?” at an unnamed individual as he made his way to the tunnel at full-time.
That sort of ‘leadership’ isn’t going to help things, Ronnie.