The fight has been fought and the day is lost. For Real Madrid now, there is no tomorrow in the La Liga title race.
After Madrid's goalless draw at Osasuna on Saturday night, city-rivals Atletico Madrid sit seven-points ahead, while league-leaders Barcelona have created a daunting 18-point gap.
Osasuna played well, they defended much more impressively than they have done in recent months, but on the whole the match didn't look like a tie between the reigning La Liga champions and the team at the bottom of the table.
It was typical Madrid and much of what we've seen so far this season. As each weekend comes to a close and the gap widens between Madrid and Barcelona, we will continue to talk about Jose Mourinho and the tension within the squad. Does it get boring? Certainly. Is it relevant? Of course.
The Real Madrid manager had no option but to start Iker Casillas in goal, while the rest of the XI was uninspiring and lacking in imagination. Of course, there were suspensions to deal with, but considering what was available to Mourinho on the day, he could have put forth a team who looked far more likely to come away with a win.
At this stage, Real Madrid aren't moving forward, however they're not moving backwards either. Mourinho will have his methods for breaking out of this slump—after all, he is still a very good manager. But how long can a club of Real Madrid's stature continue on like this?