Real Madrid continued their imperious form since the restart with their ninth successive win.
Even better, they have kept five consecutive clean sheets, the best defence run of any team in Europe at the moment.
Benzema, Asensio on target
Goals from Benzema and Marco Asensio saw Madrid regain their four-point lead after Barca had whittled it to one with another laboured, but ultimately, fruitful performance against Espanyol.
From five points behind Barca, they now lead their bitter rivals by four.
And they win due to a brilliant defence. Let’s talk about that backside –
Clenched at the back
Their 2-0 over Alavez was the 19th time that the La Liga leaders had kept a clean sheet this season. This is the most on the continent.
The team has also conceded the least number of goals (21) across the league.
But wait, it gets better.
This was the fifth time in a row that the Galacticos were not conceding a goal. Indeed, looking at them going forward, they have been less than impressive for the past few games. But someone once said defence win you titles…
Thus, the reason Madrid hold the lead over Barcelona.
The Catalans have not been short of goals since the restart. Led by Messi, who has been somewhat less than mercurial since the restart, they have managed to bang in some impressive number of goals.
Problem? They have shipped in with just as much gusto. Barcelona’s struggles in defence have cost them a few matches.
Those struggles, then, have allowed Real Madrid to remain at the top, then surge ahead as Barca somehow find new lows to sink into.
Following their latest win, Madrid only needs to win their remaining two fixtures to lift the La Liga title.
In the Champions League, though, things could get a bit tricky. A visit to Etihad sees them face one of Europe’s most impressive attack.
Pep Guardiola’s men, when in the mood, do not know when to stop scoring. Will Europe’s best defence hold against Europe’s best attack?