Sunday’s results have seen the Catalan giants extend their lead at the top of the table to 11 points, and if they keep such a lead intact until the clash with their fierce rivals, the title will be already mathematically secured before kick-off, writes Jaime Rincon for the Marca.
• 10-points lead: “The second Clasico of the season takes place with only two league matches left to be played after that. If Barcelona’s lead over Atletico Madrid is at least ten points prior to the match, then Los Blancos will be in a position where they should perform a guard of honour.
• Barca’s refusal: “Bizarrely, this isn’t the first time the subject of a guard of honour has come up between the two teams this season, the Blaugrana refused to offer such a ceremony to Los Blancos in December when they returned from a successful Club World Cup campaign. Despite the demands from the capital that a guard be formed prior to kick-off, Los Cules refused on the grounds they weren’t even involved in the intercontinental tournament.
• Madrid can’t refuse: “Real Madrid could make no such argument in this instance, and there is hope at the Camp Nou that they could put the perfect finishing touch on a domestic season by further embarrassing Zinedine Zidane’s charges.”