Barcelona and Atletico Madrid both knew that a win would propel them to the La Liga crown, but a 0-0 draw at Camp Nou on Saturday allowed Real Madrid to take over first place.
Zinedine Zidane's side knows that four wins in their final four games will be enough to keep their La Liga title, with a crucial match against fourth-placed Sevilla coming up first on Sunday.
Despite the best efforts of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, who faced each other for the first time since Suarez's departure last summer, neither team could take a decisive move forward in the first half of a thrilling weekend in the Spanish title race.
With a point apiece, Atletico Madrid is three points ahead of Real Madrid, who have a game in hand and a better head-to-head record than both Atletico and Barcelona.
Barca are only two points behind the leaders, but their chances have taken a hit because they now need both Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid to falter in the final stretch.