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10.11.2008 12:33

Best at the back as well

Jordi Clos

In addition to being the top goalscorers in the League, Barça is also with Seville the team that has conceded fewest. A record of just eight against in ten matches means the Catalans have one of the best defences in Europe.

The number of goals Barça has scored in recent games has rather put one of the other key factors in the team’s run of form into the shade: its defensive solidity. Barça has easily scored the most goals with 34 but it has also conceded fewest at 8 alongside Seville. That record is right up with the best defences in Europe.

Clean sheet

QM3D3304.jpgEven though Barça couldn’t keep a clean sheet until its seventh League outing, conceding just one in the last four make the side’s defence into the equal best in the League. In fact in the last 437 minutes only Malaga’s Duda has beaten Víctor Valdés in Barça’s 1-4 win at La Rosaleda. As for the rest, Athletic Club (0-1), Almeria (5-0) and Valladolid (6-0) have all failed to break their duck.

Pressure on opponents

Barça’s great stats are the result in part of the attack taking its chances and making it hard for opponents to begin their own attacks by putting them under pressure. A good example was the fifth goal against Valladolid when Henry stole the ball near the Valladolid box to set up Gudjohnsen who then chipped Asenjo.

As a result of this team effort, Barça’s goal difference is 26 (34-8), a figure that no other side in Europe’s major leagues can equal.

The best European defences

valdes_valladolid.jpgNo team in Europe’s best leagues can match Barça’s 3.4 goals per game scored, and few have a defensive record better than the Catalans’ average of 0.8 goals conceded. Only Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga has similar figures (10 against in 12 fixtures); in France’s Ligue 1, Olympique Lyon has only let in 8 in 13 matches. Inter Milan and Juventus have the best defences in the Calcio, having conceded just 7 goals in 11 games (0.6 per match), while in the Premier League Chelsea have the best record in Europe of 4 goals against in 12 encounters.
Best at the back as well
Milito still missing
Plus the best defence in Spain is still missing one of its key players, Gabriel Milito. The central defender has yet to play this season as he is recovering from a serious knee injury.

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