Cristiano, it all started with your goal at the Camp Nou

Real Madrid fans have been living in a state of euphoria since 2 April. Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning winner at the Camp Nou was a turning point for los blancos and has turned the business end of this season into a veritable case study for investigators of paranormal activity. The Barça players thought that in years to come they would be able to regale their grandchildren with tales of how they had the treble in the bag in February and were already popping champagne before winter was over with a 13-point lead over their eternal enemies… but football has a way of biting you in the ass.

After Ramos was sent off (correctly) in the most recent el Clásico, and the referee then ruled out Bale’s perfectly legitimate goal, the greatest team of all time’s winning mentality came to the fore – that never-say-die attitude Real Madrid have been showing since the club’s inception in 1902 – as they subjected Barcelona to harsh reality check in their own back yard.

That Cristiano goal caused wrecking ball-like damage to the Catalans’ pride. They meekly tried to pass the result off as a mere blip, as nothing but a small consolation prize for Madrid in an otherwise poor season. However, in reality that 2 April encounter had a profound effect on the title race. I can imagine what the Barça fans must be saying to each other: “Jordi, you don’t think they’re planning a fightback to rain on our parade, do you?”. They know full well that Madrid are capable of turning this season on its head. In the space of two weeks a 13-point deficit has been shortened to just one.