It was the archetypal six-pointer. With a defeat, Real Madrid would have fallen five points behind Barcelona at the top of La Liga. Instead, their win over the Catalans saw them establish a one-point lead over their fiercest rivals in the race to be crowned Spanish champions for the 2019/20 season.
Indeed, last Sunday’s Clasico was a season-defining fixture for both teams, but particularly for Real Madrid given their run of poor form leading up to the match. Zinedine Zidane’s side let slip a three-point lead with a home draw against Celta Vigo and a defeat to Levante in back-to-back games before the clash with Barcelona.
Now, though, Real Madrid must build some momentum to consolidate their Clasico victory over Barcelona. Zidane’s side face a tough trip to the Benito Villamarin to face Real Betis this weekend and only a win will do, especially considering Barca’s victory at the same venue over the same opponents just a few weeks ago.
After that Real Madrid face a winnable run of fixtures against Eibar, Valencia, Real Sociedad and Real Mallorca. The games against Valencia and Real Sociedad will be a challenge, especially in the case of the latter who have been one of La Liga’s most exhilarating sides in La Liga this season. La Real have already beaten Real Madrid once in the Copa del Rey this season.
Zidane must look to establish some rhythm on the back of his team’s performance against Barcelona in last week’s Clasico. Real Madrid’s second half display in particular was encouraging from Zidane’s perspective, with Marcelo, Fede Valverde and Vinicius Junior all impressing for the hosts.
The fixtures will come thick and fast between now and the end of the season with Real Madrid facing a challenge to overturn a 2-1 first leg deficit against Manchester City in the Champions League. Zidane will have to make full use of his squad over the coming weeks. Marcelo, Eder Militao, Rodrygo, Isco and Luka Jovic, maybe even Mariano Diaz who made a surprise impact against Barcelona, will all have a part to play.
This is a critical point in Real Madrid’s season. They have once again installed themselves as title favourites, but it would only take one more slip up for Los Blancos to concede their advantage again. The Clasico win over Barcelona must prove to be a catalyst rather than just a peak followed by another trough.
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