Contrary to what some may be reporting, the sky is not falling on the Santiago Bernabeu.
Any time Real Madrid lose to Barcelona, it causes a period of panic in the Spanish capital. The inevitable questions are asked, players are criticized, referees are questioned and managers are second-guessed.
The fervor is only going to rise with Madrid now falling six points behind their Catalan rivals.
For those who don't understand why that six-point gap would be considered so large, remember that Real Madrid won the league with 100 points in 2011-12, and then Barca followed with a 100-point title-winning season of their own. That's 100 points out a possible 114. Real Madrid and Barcelona don't often drop too many points the entire season, so the tiniest of gaps even earlier in the season can be daunting.
However, Madridistas shouldn't start running for the panic button just yet. The title race isn't over. Madrid have 28 matches to erase that deficit and get to the top of the table.
Here are three reasons why supporters should remain relaxed.
Real Madrid Weren't That Bad
The score line shows a 2-1 Barcelona win, which was very close to being a 2-0 win were it not for Jese's late goal.
Dig a little deeper, and you see a match that was slightly more even.
According to WhoScored, Barcelona had 55 percent of possession, which isn't all that much considering the two clubs' styles. Barca look to control the ball, while Madrid are much better hitting quickly on the counter. If anything, you would've been surprised if Los Blancos actually had more possession.
While Real Madrid had fewer total shots than Barcelona, they had one more shot on target. Sometimes, you just run into some bad luck and an opposing goalkeeper who puts on a strong display. Or Karim Benzema's potential golazo caroms off the woodwork.
And how often is Alexis Sanchez going to do this?
There was also that Adriano handball that could have been called a penalty.
All this is not to say that Real Madrid deserved to win, but a draw probably would've been a fair result. The gap between the two clubs isn't all that large.
Last season, this situation could've been a major problem. Jose Mourinho would have bunkered in for a fight, alienating both players and supporters. For the most part, forging that siege mentality has worked for the "Special One." Instead, it backfired last year, and the end was an ignominious departure for him.
With Carlo Ancelotti, you don't have to worry about the train running off the rails. Sure, his decision to play Sergio Ramos in midfield rather than Asier Illarramendi was questionable. But it's the kind of thing that if Madrid were to win, Ancelotti's hailed as a genius. Since they lost, he's an idiot
At the very least, Madridistas know the 54-year-old Italian is more of a calming influence than Mourinho was. Ancelotti's not going to start pointing fingers, at least not publicly. He'll keep everything in-house and make sure the players know where they stand.
Rather than exacerbate what is a tough situation, Ancelotti's style is exactly what Madrid need to steady the ship.
Barcelona Will Drop Points
We can all agree Barcelona aren't going to win every single match for the rest of the season. They're going to leave the door open for Madrid. It's just up to Los Blancos to make the most of that opportunity. They can't afford to let the gap grow any bigger.
In actuality, Madrid need to trim three points off that Barca lead. Should that happen before March 23, it would mean a Real Madrid win in the next Clasico puts them level on points with Barcelona.
This club has the talent and management structure to make that happen. Sure, it's going to be hard. Beating Barcelona for the Spanish league title always is.
Real Madrid need to take it one match at a time.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!