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27.11.2008 12:59

Lighting up Europe

Jordi Clos

Barça’s Champions League stats this year are quite remarkable. They are the team that has collected the most points, won the most games, scored the most goals and are the only team already guaranteed top spot in their group.

The 5-2 win at the José Alvalade is the latest of Barça’s many fine achievements in Europe this season. They started out by beating Sporting Lisbon 3-1, then won away to Shakhtar (1-2) and Basel (0-5). Only in round four did they fail to register a win after the Swiss outfit held them to a 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou. But that was just a minor slip, and they more than made amends on their trip to Portugal.

Amazing stats

basilea-fcb_x3x.jpgThat means Guardiola’s side now have 13 points, the only team in any of the eight first round groups to have that many. They are also the only side to have won 4 of their 5 games, are the highest scorers with 16 goals and are the only side has not only qualified, but also guaranteed they will do so in first place.

The whole of Europe has been stunned by Barça’s incredible attacking style. Nobody has a greater average possession of the ball (62%), and nobody has had as many shots on goal (43).

Messi the star

fcb-basilea_x6x.jpgThe team has done brilliantly, while on an individual level, Leo Messi has also been shining bright. He shares top spot in the leading goalscorers chart with Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard. Both have five, although one of the English international’s goals came from the penalty spot. The Argentinian has scored in every one of his last four outings.

But Messi is also third in the ranking for the number of assists. His killer pass to Henry that led to the goal against Sporting was his third of the tournament, a figure only surpassed by Ribery (Bayern) and Lampard (Chelsea), who both have 4.
Lighting up Europe
Piqué off the mark
The trip to Portugal also witnessed the first official goal for Gerard Piqué as a Barça player. The Catalan defender has also struck two balls onto the post this season, against Basel and Getafe. Piqué’s goal just goes to show that when it comes to goals, Barça are scoring them in all departments.

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