It has been an enthralling La Liga campaign thus far, with Madrid neighbours Atletico and Real skirmishing with Barcelona at the top of the tree.
Just when one team looks like it has gripped the Spanish title race by the lapels, a speed hump derails its progress.
However, two defeats on the bounce, coupled with Barcelona’s resurgent form and Atletico’s determined assault, means it’s all to play for.
Since then, Diego Simeone’s men have attacked their March schedule like men possessed, chalking up five consecutive wins to reclaim their position at the top of La Liga.
Meanwhile, approximately 400 miles to the east of the Spanish capital, the pressure has eased on Gerardo Martino, as Barcelona have shrugged off tales of controversy and injuries, coinciding with the return to fitness and form of their talisman Lionel Messi.
When critics prematurely advocated Barca’s demise, Javier Mascherano wisely told The Guardian's Sid Lowe, "Dont kill us just yet."
Catalonia's empire struck back with aplomb, as they eliminated Manchester City from the Champions League, before Messi netted a hat-trick at the Bernabeu, claiming three crucial points against Los Blancos.
The blow to Los Blancos was akin to a heavyweight boxer feeling the full force of George Foreman in his prime as they then staggered into the formidable Sevilla and effectively blew the title race wide open.
As it currently stands, only three points separate the top three. With more drama likely, can champions Barcelona defend their crown, will Carlo Ancelotti add another domestic title to his already impressive repertoire, or will Diego Costa shoot underdogs Atletico to glory?
|Villarreal (H)||Real Betis (H)||Real Sociedad (A)|
|Getafe (A)||Granada (A)||Almeria (H)|
|Elche (H)||Villarreal (A)||Osasuna (H)|
|Valencia (A)||Getafe (H)||Valencia (H)|
|Levante (A)||Athletic Club (H)||Real Valladolid (A)|
|Malaga (H)||Elche (A)||Celta Vigo (A)|
|Barcelona (A)||Atletico (H)||Espanyol (H)|
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