For the Blaugrana, it means that even if they lose, they’ll still have Atlético six points back, not a theoretical three. Of course Valencia can still move up to being within 5 of Barcelona, but that’s worst case scenario now.
Meanwhile, Real have a chance of getting to within two points of their crosstown rivals, and potentially, be tied on points with Valencia.
Sergio García was the man to grab Espanyol’s late goal, as Barcelona’s “other team” beat Madrid’s “other” team as a curtain raiser before el Clásico.
Valencia have lost two of their last three matches, and they have a big test coming up against sixth-placed Villarreal.