By Greg Lea.

It looked like being the perfect response. Four days after being humiliated by Barcelona in the first Clasico of the season, Real Madrid stormed into a 4-0 lead after 70 minutes of their Champions League tie with Shakhtar Donetsk, taking their anger and frustration out on their Ukrainian opponents as they attempted to seal their progression into the knockout stage. While such an emphatic victory would not absolve Rafael Benitez and his players for the 4-0 loss to arch-enemies Barca, it would at least go some way towards making amends.

The final 20 minutes, though, almost saw a catastrophic collapse: two strikes from Alex Teixeira and one from Dentinho reduced the deficit to just a single goal, with Madrid ultimately doing just enough to hang on for a 4-3 victory. Despite departing Arena Lviv with all three points and qualification sewn up, all of the doubts and questions that Madrid had faced a few days previously arose once

A trip to Eibar last weekend offered Los Blancos another opportunity to put that crushing Clasico setback behind them in convincing fashion, but another mediocre performance means that most people still consider Madrid to be huge outsiders in the race for the La Liga title.

The capital club again recorded another win that was more routine than resounding. Gareth Bale's opener came from a set-piece, with Cristiano Ronaldo's ninth goal of the league campaign arriving from the penalty spot. Aside from those moments, there was little to enjoy about Madrid's display: Benitez's side dominated possession but did not really threaten much from only play, with Eibar's intense and aggressive approach causing them difficulties at times.

In Madrid's defence, Eibar is not an easy place to go; the Basques began the weekend up in sixth place, with Atletico Madrid the only team to win at the Ipurua Municipal Stadium so far this season. They like to press high and get in their opponents' faces, something that can unsettle even the finest technicians.

Nevertheless, it still feels as though Madrid need a convincing performance before they can fully move on from last month's humbling in the Clasico. Indeed, even Wednesday's 3-1 win over Cadiz in the Copa del Rey was overshadowed by reports that Los Blancos might be disqualified from the competition for selecting an ineligible player in winger Denis Cheryshev.

This weekend sees Getafe make the short trip to the Bernabeu: with just one win in their last five games, Fran Escriba's outfit may seem like ideal opponents, but their relatively poor form means that the
pressure will firmly be on Madrid in what will be their first appearance at home since the Barca defeat. If Getafe are able to get to half time with the scores level which, despite Madrid's problems, is still a huge ask some members of the crowd will inevitably start to get restless and frustrated.

A great deal can change in a short space of time in football, and it is worth remembering that Madrid had a four-point lead over Barcelona at the top of the table just four months before the latter sealed a historic treble of La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey for only the second time in the club's distinguished history last term.

There is thus still plenty to play for right across Europe this season, and Madrid will continue to have a chance of lifting the La Liga trophy in May as long as they keep picking up victories. Given the wider context of the last fortnight, though, the manner in which they play against Getafe on Saturday is almost as important as the final result. Benitez will know that grinding out a narrow win in a home clash with a mid-table side is unlikely to be enough to appease the Bernabeu faithful.