The result of Saturday afternoon's crucial match between FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid could not have gone any better for Real Madrid. The goalless draw between the two sides meant that Los Blancos have the opportunity to claim the top spot at the La Liga Santander table, but only if they overcome Sevilla on Sunday.
The weekend arrived with Atletico leading the La Liga race by just two points ahead of both Real Madrid and Barcelona. The draw means that they dropped two crucial points, and a victory will take Real Madrid level with 77 points. Thanks to a superior head-to-head advantage, the defending champions will take the top step.
Atletico will be disappointed not to come away with the victory after a dominant first half against Barcelona. Luis Suarez is visiting his former club for the first time and he was determined to score. However, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen was on top of his game and managed to deny his former teammate's attempts. Atletico continued to be threatening throughout the match and looked like the better side.
Barcelona needed to win this match to gain the advantage in the title race but they fell short. Lionel Messi did have moments of brilliance, forcing Jan Oblak to a save after he flew past almost the entire Atletico defense all by himself. He also came close via a free kick that just failed to sneak into the top corner of the goal.
The Blaugrana looked more dangerous in the second half, but in the end, neither team could make the breakthrough. As a result they placed the ball firmly on Real Madrid's court.
However, the match against fourth-placed Sevilla is not a given. The club has just announced another injury to captain Sergio Ramos, who will likely be sidelined again after making a comeback against Chelsea in their Champions League semi-final loss last Wednesday.
That means Zidane's starting defenders including Varane, Carvajal and Mendy might all be absent for the crucial match. The battle keeps heating up and it will come down to the wire with just three matches remaining after this weekend.