A barren draw against Valencia at the Santiago Bernabeu last night has cut Real Madrid’s lead at the top of the La Liga table to just 4 points with only 7 games left to play.
Moreover, with fixtures against Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona on the cards within the next 2 weeks, things are bound to get harder for Madrid. Add to this the re-emerging speculation over Jose Mourinho’s future and it is not hard to see the tide starting to shift largely in Barcelona’s favour.
Following the disappointing result, Madrid coach Jose Mourinho opted not to speak to the press instead he sent out his assistant Aitor Karanka who did not hestitate to make Mourinho’s feelings known on the refereeing decisions.
“The refereeing? 80,000 people saw we were persecuted, did they not?” Karanka asked during the post game press conference.
“Because if we say it, then it all kicks off. Everybody saw it. We are calm because we are four points above Barcelona,” Karanka said. “I know the atmosphere in the dressing room and we are calm. We are thinking about our next match and we have players who are eager to continue to fight to win La Liga.”
Of course, with the El Clasico at the Nou Camp yet to come , there’s a lot of confidence among Barca fans that they could walk away with their 4th successive La Liga title.
So where did it all start going wrong for Madrid? Could it have been over confidence or simply bad luck? 7 matches is still a lot of games to determine the eventual title winners, however, with the stakes so high for Madrid, any more slip ups will definitely keep them out of the running for a record 32nd league title.
Despite all this, Madrid are still favourites to win the league. However, the litmus test will be on April 22nd when they travel to the Nou Camp to play Barcelona. A loss for Madrid then will effectively end the titles hopes as well as the future of some of it’s most iconic personalities.
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