Ants in Real Madrid's milk

April 26, 2017
Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic, centre, celebrates with Lionel Messi, left and Luis Suarez after scoring during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona, dubbed 'el clasico', at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, on Sunday.


With its cushion at the top gone, Real Madrid need wins. Another setback in the final rounds of the Spanish League could leave the title in the hands of Barcelona, which is carrying all the momentum after the last-minute win against Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium over the weekend.

"Our fate is still in our hands," Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said yesterday. "It's still all up to us. We will keep doing our best to try to win matches. We are not going to change anything."

Barcelona lead on the head-to-head tiebreaker, but Madrid have a game in hand. Madrid face Deportivo La Coruna today. Barcelona have a much easier game, against last-place Osasuna at the Camp Nou.

Madrid led 26 of the 33 rounds so far, and were as many as six points ahead of Barcelona. It had been holding on to a three-point advantage for several weeks until finally giving it away with the heart-breaking home loss on Sunday.

"We still only depend on ourselves and we are going to give everything we have to win La Liga," Madrid captain Sergio Ramos said. "The defeat to Barcelona hurt us because of the situation that we had before the game, but there is no time to lament. We have to turn the page and start focusing on the next match."

It will help Madrid's confidence that they have beaten Deportivo the last seven times the teams met, including the last three league games in La Coruna. Deportivo defeated Barcelona at home last month, but they have won only once in six games since then. They are 16th in the 20-team standings, eight points clear of the relegation zone.

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