Seven points. Seven massive points. With the way Barca has dominated La Liga in recent seasons it'd be foolish to say the title is returning to the Bernabeu just yet - but it's a very good bet.
My last post focused on Madrid's impressive performance at the Camp Nou in the second leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final, even though Pep's boys progressed to a semi-final date with Valencia. It focused on the mental strength of Madrid in Catalonia that night. The strength Los Blancos showed despite dominating the first-half and somehow finding themselves 2-0 down. The strength to continue playing well, not letting their heads drop, and coming away unbeaten.
That mental strength seems to be winning the way for Madrid at the moment, and it's having a negative impact on Barca - as shown with three draws on the spin.
Many have spoke about the way Madrid must beat Barca to prove they're the best in Spain, no matter what position they hold in La Liga. In theory, Los Blancos could fail to beat Barca in eight matches in all competitions this season and still win the league. Mourinho has been asked many times if this would 'decaffeinate' (thanks, Iker) any title triumph in the Spanish capital. Of course not, he replied, and I agree.
What about the impact on Barca of actually getting the better of Madrid time and time again and still trail their old foes by seven points in La Liga? What does that say about them? I think we're finally starting to find that out with the performance of Messi and his team-mates in recent weeks. Messi's penalty miss against Valencia in midweek perhaps sums it up.
While Barca often find top-gear with relative ease in the Clasico matches, they can't find that top gear week-to-week in La Liga. The efficient Mourinho Madrid machine can. Play below-par, and Los Blancos still come away with maximum points. As with Zaragoza last weekend, a scare is thrown in there but Madrid have the strength mentally to still come out on top in the end. It's a trait that's set to claim the La Liga crown for Madrid come the end of the season, hopefully - and this weekend's test at Getafe will go a long way to securing that sought-after trophy triumph.
Scroll down the fixture list at the start of the season and Getafe, whether it be home or away, is one of those games that is simply a must, and should-win for Madrid. Rewind back to November and it should have been three points for Barca too, but it wasn't. A shock 1-0 victory for Getafe was seemingly a sign of things to come for the Catalans, and Guardiola hasn't heeded the warnings. Draws against Villarreal, at the weekend, and city rivals Espanyol have made it advantage Madrid in the title race.
With Barca's defeat at Getafe in mind, Mourinho shouldn't get Madrid's near-neighbours lightly. That victory aside, Geta come into the game in confident mood having won their last two matches, albeit against sides struggling at the wrong end of the table. Los Blancos simply need to win - draws are the new defeats in La Liga for the top-two, and they're classed as victories for those lesser sides doing the damage.
Seven points is therefore a huge gap this season. Madrid have only dropped seven points all season long at its midway point and it'd need a huge drop in form for Los Blancos to throw away their current hold on top spot. Madrid's efficiency at simply getting the right result should prove enough to see off Getafe and steer Los Blancos to three vital points tis weekend.
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