Barcelona returned to Santiago Bernabeu in the Spanish capital on Saturday, driving away the title from their fierce rival Real Madrid with a 1-0 win, in the 26th round, and they left them 12 points behind and have an advantage in the direct confrontation.
Days after winning 3-0 at the same stadium, thus obtaining a place in the final of the King's Cup, the Catalans returned to impose, now with a solitary goal from Ivan Rakitic, at the 26th minute, allowing the fourth consecutive success in the League in the home of Real Madrid.
Ernesto Valverde's side now have 60 points, while Argentina Santigo Solari's side have 48 points and Atletico de Madrid, who visits Real Sociedad on Sunday have 50 points.
At the back, Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet were solid as Barca clocked up a fifth clean sheet in six games. This will not go down as a classic but Barcelona emerged with their treble hopes intact.
In the decisive play, the Croatian Rakitic, tabled with Sergi Roberto, gathered the ball, and rushed towards the goal, chipping the ball over Courtois, to impose the fourth domestic frustration of the season at Real Madrid.
Barcelona, who in recent years has revealed great supremacy of results against their eternal rivals, had the game almost always controlled, giving few chances to the Los Blancos to oppose their football.
After the Barca boss Valverde said, "We still have a whole world in front of us. We know Madrid can win a lot of consecutive games, Atletico Madrid are still there too."
"Until it is mathematically secure, we will keep battling. You have to keep fighting, if you think about it, you start losing."
This was Real's third successive home defeat and the locals made their feelings clear at the final whistle. Real's next match is against Ajax in the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday, with the Spanish side 2-1 up from the first leg.
"The league is always important. The team will compete until the last date," said Santigo Solari.
"We played as a team. It was a game hard fought and we matched them in almost everything. We looked for it in every way and we could not score.
"Football is pretty simple sometimes, it's a good metaphor for life."
About the Author
Jeet Ghosh is a Football Journalist, living and working in Kolkata with 7 years of experience. He has also worked with Sportzwiki and India.com. Jeet is a sports lover but has special liking for football. He follows the football league’s around the world and is somewhat partial towards Real Madrid.