Barcelona has what Real Madrid are missing at the moment: a goalscorer. Lionel Messi continues to win matches for the Catalans and has rehabilitated their morale in the process.
On Saturday there were two divergent realities because while the Catalans thrashed neighbours Espanyol 5-0, which included a hat-trick from Messi, Real laboured to a 1-1 draw at home against newly promoted Levante.
It was a game that exposed just how much they miss Cristiano Ronaldo and the paradox is interesting.
If, before the season began, the shortcomings of Barcelona and the spectacular squad of favourites Real Madrid were talked about, the reality is that in just three matchdays, the Blaugrana are already four points ahead of their great rival for the title.
The Argentinian returned to Barcelona in the midst of furious criticism of his national side but, back in the shelter of his club, he dazzled with his performance.
It was as if he wanted to immediately forget his trip, giving up his day off to ensure Espanyol paid a heavy price.
Five goals already in three LaLiga games from the No.10 has been enough to silence criticism of the club since losing the Supercopa de Espana 5-1 against Real.
Real Madrid will only have Ronaldo back after the next league game at high-flying Real Sociedad, a fixture in which they’ll also be missing Karim Benzema, who will be out for a month after sustaining a muscular injury against Levante.