Just five months ago, Barcelona was in turmoil after letting Neymar go to Paris Saint-Germain and losing twice to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup.
If Barcelona win tonight away to Real Sociedad, then Madrid will be closer (17 points) to the relegation places than top spot (19 points) - which is categorically the most damning stat in this article.
Real reached the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey - where they will face Leganes - in midweek, but started the day 16 points behind rivals Barcelona in the league.
Madrid have only managed to accumulate 32 points after 18 matches, which is their lowest points total at this stage of the season since the 2005-06 campaign when they had 30.
Under-fire boss Zinedine Zidane was also at a loss for words after originally describing the situation as "f***** up", insisting that he had no explanation as to why the Spanish champions could not find the net.
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Much of the credit on Saturday must go to goalie Sergio Asenjo, who will go down in Villarreal lore for his performance in goal.
So, should Madrid raid Tottenham again to be strong again next season?
The hosts were unhappy, and things almost got worse in the first few minutes of the second half when substitute and former Real player Denis Cheryshev dispossessed Casemiro and danced through the defence, only to drag his shot wide of Navas' post. It's tough for the players, they gave their best.
This was unheard of last season.
Real Madrid suffered a shock defeat after going down 1-0 to Villarreal at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski is reportedly plotting a move to Real Madrid as well.
However, in half a season Valverde has won over ever the most skeptical Barca fans and if his side's football has at times left things to be desired with Leo Messi in outstanding form, they have been unstoppable.
For now, Zidane has some time left, and another Champions League triumph could help him remain at the Bernabeu.