How things have changed. At this stage in the first half of the season, Real Madrid came away from the Camp Nou, defeated, six points behind Barcelona, and five behind Atlético de Madrid, looking like a deflated balloon flying hither and thither through the league with no apparent direction.
And now Carlo Ancelotti’s team are the leaders of the Liga BBVA, have gone 30 games without defeat in all competitions and have overtaken their rivals in the steep 38-Alpine-bend course that is the Spanish league. In the eighteen matchdays that there have been since the last ‘Clasico’ and this one, Real Madrid have won fifteen of them and drawn three, reaping a total of 48 points – ten more than Barcelona and eight more than Atlético de Madrid.
Real Madrid have a new road map, flipped on the turbo, picking up momentum and cruising past the other two teams fighting with them for the league leadership , both having lost their dependability to some extent.
In attack, Real Madrid are a veritable steamroller. In defence, an impenetrable wall. They have scored 84 goals and conceded only 19 over the last 30 matches. Real’s reaction to that defeat at the Camp Nou has brought immeasurable delight to their fans, who see next Sunday’s ‘Clásico’ as a great chance to finish Barcelona off and leave them out of the race for the league title.