Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta has insisted that Real Madrid are not yet out of La Liga's title race, despite a 3-0 win for the Catalans at the Bernabeu on Saturday putting them as many as 14 points clear of their fiercest rivals in the standings.
Goals from Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Aleix Vidal saw Barça emerge victorious from the Bernabeu Clásico for the third year in a row, but Iniesta isn't prepared to count Los Blancos out just yet.
"There are many matches left to play and anything can happen in football," he told Marca.
"What is there to say that we won't lose three matches in a row and the gap will then be reduced?" the 33-year-old then asked.
"We have seen these situations so many times before. The challenge is to keep the gap at the same level. We are happy with our situation, but I never count Real Madrid out."
Reigning champions Real have a game in hand on their rivals after taking time out of their domestic schedule earlier this month to compete in the FIFA Club World Cup and could have reduced the gap to La Liga leaders Barça to eight points had Saturday's result been the reverse.
As it stands, Atletico Madrid and Valencia separate Real and Barça, with the fourth place Blancos also nervously looking over their shoulder at Sevilla, just two points back in fifth.
La Liga will return in early January following the Spanish winter break, when Barça will host Levante and Real travel west to face Celta Vigo. Both teams will also play in the Copa del Rey a few days before the league restart.