Real Madrid's French midfielder Lassana Diarra on Tuesday said there was no need to panic, after the Spanish giants were held 1-1 by Malaga, cutting their 10-point lead over rivals Barcelona.
"It's true that we were a bit down after the match. But there's no need to panic. Barca are still eight points behind, which is a lot," he told the sports daily AS.
Diarra started Sunday's match against Malaga after being sidelined with a lower back injury and the 27-year-old said he was happy to return, even in an unfamiliar right-back role.
"I don't really noticed the difference any more between playing right-back or in midfield because I've now got more experience and I know how to deal with defending better," he added.
"Defensively, it was a bit more difficult than normal against Malaga but I think that I think I acquitted myself well coming forward."
Barca can cut Madrid's lead to five points if they win against Granada on Tuesday night but a victory for Madrid at Villarreal on Wednesday will again give them an eight-point lead.