Sergio Ramos has warned Real Madrid against getting carried away with their enviable position at the top of LaLiga - but admits it is nice to be in control of their own destiny as they chase a first league crown since 2012.
Ramos' dramatic late equaliser at the Nou Camp on Saturday earned Real a 1-1 draw from the first Clasico of the season against Barcelona.
That ensured Real remained six points clear of second-placed Barca at the top of the table, and Zinedine Zidane's men are sure to finish the weekend with that advantage intact no matter what happens in the other games.
With a draw at the Nou Camp also potentially another positive for Real should the title race ultimately come down to head-to-head records - providing Barca do not do any better when they go to the Bernabeu in April - it is looking very good for the European champions at present.
However, Ramos is preferring to take a more prudent approach, with the season still only 14 rounds old.
He said on his club's website: "The points difference is reward for the hard work we've been doing since the start of the season.
"We mustn't get carried away because there's still a long way to go in LaLiga, but it's better to have it in our own hands than to depend on others."
Ramos' equaliser cancelled out Luis Suarez's 53rd-minute opener for Barca and helped Real extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to 33 matches.
Ramos felt his goal was no more than Real deserved, adding: "The team did a great job and worked hard. The score was an unfair reflection and then a great cross from (Luka) Modric created this fantastic goal.
"The hard work has reaped rewards and it's better to get one point than nothing at all. We have to keep picking up points and maintaining the gap from Barcelona."
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique also insists there is a long way to go in the title fight yet and called for calm.
"It's similar to what happened in Luis Enrique's first season. Then we were at four points...(and won the title). You need to have calm. I've seen worse situations.
"There's a lot of the league still to go and there have been all kinds of championships in the past. We can keep going and turn this around. It all depends on us."