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There is no other way but to admit that Real Madrid is no longer running for La Liga title this season. The Merengues traveled to Pamplona with expectations of cutting the gap to Barcelona into 13 points, but couldn't get beyond a goalless draw. Cristiano Ronaldo's absence was highly felt and Real Madrid couldn't hide the fact that in the current days, they are severely depending on the Portuguese forward.

Real Madrid visited Osasuna in La Liga's gameday 19, but got held to a 0-0 draw and now risk seeing Barcelona extending the gap into 18 points. With the Spanish League virtually over for the Merengues, José Mourinho has now clearly set his sight at the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League, even though we've just reached halfway in La Liga after this weekend's games are completed. Cristiano Ronaldo was forced to miss last night's match after accumulating 5 yellow cards in the league, but the Portuguese player absence can't be enough to explain such a lack of attitude and ambition from the remaining squad players. A club with Real Madrid's dimension simply can't afford to be that depending on a single player, as well as giving up on fighting for the league title so early in the season.

With Pepe and Marcelo still recovering from injuries and Sergio Ramos unavailable to give his contribute after picking a 5-game suspension, Real Madrid's defence continues being improvised on a game after game basis. Suprisingly, the Merengues kept a clean sheet for the second straight game, but faced a bigger problem when it came to create danger in the attacking areas. Without Cristiano Ronaldo's presence on the pitch, there was no one in the team proving to be capable to step up to the occasion. This apathy can be interpreted as an alarming signal for the club's future, especially if Ronaldo ends up picking an injury or even if he decides to switch from the Spanish champions side for Manchester United, at the end of the season.

Osasuna came into this game ranked last in the league, with only 3 wins out of their 18 games played so far. Regardless of how far Real Madrid actually is from the league leaders, the Spanish champions can't afford to put on such a poor display on the pitch. However, it's true that apart from the setbacks concerning Real Madrid's defence, as well as not being able to count with Ronaldo, having players such as Benzema or Mesut Ozil starting on the bench probably didn't help much the team into finding a good pace and rhythm in the game.

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