LaLiga’s best defense ever? – Barcelona is close to the title and a record

March 7, 2023

Camp Nou is empty

Barcelona strengthened its supremacy on the high of the League to 9 factors within the twenty fourth spherical, due to the victory by its new favourite line. 1-0 successes and defensive excellence might not be precisely what Barcelona followers had in thoughts when Xavi was appointed in 2021. However in the intervening time at the very least, the bulk could also be keen to place up with a barely lower-profile fashion because the membership legend lays the defensive foundations he seems to be. It is going to win its first league title in 4 years.

Barcelona isn’t just in pursuit of a possible home treble, having already received the Tremendous Cup and took an enormous step in the direction of the Copa del Rey remaining after successful the primary leg of the semi-final towards Actual Madrid, by the now acquainted 1-0 scoreline. They’re additionally presently on their method to setting a brand new report for the perfect defensive report in LaLiga historical past.

This report is collectively held by Atlético de Madrid (2015/16) and Deportivo La Coruña (1993/1994). Each have allowed simply 18 objectives in 38 video games (a mean of 0.47 per sport), although, oddly sufficient, neither of these groups ever managed to win the title. Barcelona have allowed simply 8 objectives in 24 video games to this point this season (0.33 per sport) and can set a brand new report if they’ve conceded 9 objectives or fewer of their final 14 matches.

1-0 to Barcelona

For a membership outlined by its capacity to succeed and entertain, Barcelona’s outcomes in the course of the 2022/23 season make for startling studying. Whereas there are nonetheless a number of top-scoring matches, most have confronted extra attack-minded groups in Europe, with league matches typically seeing Xavi’s aspect preserve issues defensive whereas lastly urgent on. liabilities.

It did not begin like that. Barcelona have received 5 of their first 6 league video games by at the very least 3 objectives as opponents have been eradicated with Robert Lewandowski having fun with a real purple patch to start out his profession in Catalonia. Issues are beginning to change with the journey to Mallorca on Matchday 7, the primary of ten 1-0 wins for Barcelona in all competitions this season.

Barcelona’s 1-0 victory to this point within the 2022/23 season

Month Low cost a race
October Mallorca (A) La Liga
October Celta Vigo (H) La Liga
October Valencia (A) La Liga
January Atlético Madrid (A) La Liga
January Getafe (H) La Liga
January Actual Sociedad (H) Del Rey Cup
January Girona (A) La Liga
February Villarreal (away) La Liga
He walks Actual Madrid (away) Del Rey Cup
He walks Valencia (H) La Liga

After 24 matches, precisely a 3rd of Barcelona’s matches resulted in a 1-0 win for them. 10 of the final 30 matches in all competitions have ended this manner. Whereas Xavi might be happy together with his crew’s defensive efforts this season, that path to success is not essentially the one he’d imagined both, and there are clearly frustrations together with his crew’s incapacity to make issues extra snug for themselves.

‘We suffered so much’ after the weekend’s 1-0 win over Valencia, which was sealed after a tense remaining half hour sport with 10 males after Ronald Araujo was despatched off.

“We had many probabilities to attain the second purpose, but it surely has occurred to us many occasions and we’ve got to rectify it.”

Defensive foundations for right this moment and tomorrow

There are nonetheless query marks over this Barcelona squad, particularly in relation to squad depth, to not point out the truth that they’ve been knocked out of 4 European competitions since Xavi took over simply 16 months in the past.

Nonetheless, the defensive shift this season has been dramatic when you think about that Barcelona completed the 2021/22 league marketing campaign with 38 objectives conceded, the sixth-best report in La Liga.

Dani Alves, Clement Lenglet, Gerard Pique and Oscar Mengiza have been key gamers in Barca’s protection within the remaining weeks of final season. None of those gamers are presently a part of the primary crew, with Lenglet, presently on mortgage at Tottenham, the one participant Barcelona nonetheless has. In the meantime, Eric Garcia, one other starter on protection final season, has been relegated to a extra peripheral function.

Upgrades are discovered throughout the again with Alejandro Balde, Ronald Araujo, Andreas Christensen and Jules Conde now wanting like Xavi is the primary decide rising at No. 4. All of them are at an age that would see them kind a powerful Barca protection for a few years to come back, though Conde’s choice for a central function is one thing the Barca boss might must handle. The Frenchman has regarded greater than certified at right-back, one thing that has been an issue for Barcelona over quite a lot of years, however He wasn’t shy about his favorite status.

Ter Stegen issue

There may be in fact one other issue that goes an extended method to explaining why Barcelona presently break the LaLiga report for fewest objectives conceded. Marc-André ter Stegen is having fun with a tremendous season in purpose and has made quite a lot of necessary saves, making 18 clear sheets, twice the variety of some other goalkeeper in LaLiga.

According to FBREFBarcelona’s tally of xGA (objectives anticipated towards) in LaLiga this season is nineteen.6. It is best within the division however solely marginally higher than the likes of Actual Madrid, Actual Sociedad and Athletic Membership who’re between 20 and 21 xGA. In different phrases, regardless of boasting by far the perfect defensive report, they aren’t mild years forward of the remainder in relation to denying opposing groups goal-scoring alternatives.

It is a sign of how necessary Ter Stegen is, and it additionally hints at some good luck in relation to opposing groups dropping floor. However Barcelona have underperformed xG, particularly in current months, with each elements indicating that their present propensity to win 1-0 might not essentially change into a long-term development.

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