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22.09.2008 14:43

Set-piece ploys on a roll

Berta Brau

Four out ten goals coming from headers show that Barça are getting the most out of their set-piece game. The team has seven strikes from three League encounters and that makes them second in the goal scoring list.

Sunday’s third League fixture brought a handsome win, three points and some pretty impressive facts and figures.

Three set-piece goals

Barcelona may have had a poor record on converting set-pieces into goals last season, but that’s changed this campaign. Four out of the team’s eight goals in the League and Champions League have been headers that came out of set-pieces. In Sunday’s 6-1 win over Sporting Gijon, for example, Xavi, Eto'o and Messi all headed home after moves that began with a corner. Moreover, Barça’s third strike at El Molinón was an own-goal when Jorge accidentally headed the ball into his own net at the near post from a corner.

Fourth in the Champions League

QM3D3414.jpgThe fourth header this season resulted from a set-piece in Barça’s CL debut against Sporting Lisbon (3-1) when Rafa Márquez headed in a Xavi corner to make it 1-0 to the Catalans.

Six goals in 90 minutes

sporting-fcb.jpgBarcelona always look to score and the final result at Molinón showed just what can happen. However, scoring six goals in one game is not easy. Barça did it in the 1992/93 season when Johann Cruyff’s side visited Zaragoza on matchday 11 and blew away the Romadera outfit with a brace of goals each for Koeman, Begiristain and Stoichkov. The most recent hammerings were 0-6 against Atlético de Madrid in the 2006/2007 season and a 6-0 result against Valencia last term.

Messi is top goalscorer

The thrashing of Sporting Gijon leaves Barça joint second with Real Madrid in the most goals scored table after three games: each has seven. Only Atlético de Madrid, with nine from three, is above them. Plus Messi’s two strikes in Gijon put him level with Negredo, Bilic and Sinama with three goals at the top of the goalscorers’ table.

Set-piece ploys on a roll
Ten goals from five players
FC Barcelona’s ten strikes this season have come from five players: Rafa Márquez, Leo Messi, Andrés Iniesta, Samuel Eto'o and Xavi Hernández. That means that the defence (Márquez), midfield (Xavi and Iniesta) and attack (Eto'o and Messi) have all already found the back of the net so far this campaign.

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