Barcelona defender Gerard Pique struck another verbal blow at sparring partner and Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho.
"It is clear that there is not that same tension [towards Barcelona] that Mourinho had last season," Pique told Catalunya Radio. "Mourinho has realized that there is no need to look at Barcelona because you will not find any problems. Additionally, now it seems that he is looking for it in his own house."
Pique went on to say the race for the league title is very much open despite Barca's lead.
"The truth is that we expect a very good year, with many challenges and emotions," he said. "The league is not won, it is true, but no one imagined a start so good Do not forget that in my first year we had 12 points and had to go to the Bernabeu to win the league."
Pique also praised Tito Vilanova for the way he has handled the club since taking over for Pep Guardiola.
"He has won over the dressing room," Pique said. "He has something special. We anticipate some great years with him at the helm."
A foot injury has sidelined Pique for Spain's World Cup 2014 qualifier against Belarus, but he expects to return for Barcelona's Oct. 20 match against Deportivo La Coruna.
"The injury is fine and I will be back against Depor," he said.