The current Barça team is famed for its attacking ability, but is also extremely solid at the back, having just kept three consecutive clean sheets.
A common comment at Barça is the one that goes that “defence is the best form of
attack”, and in Guardiola’s book, that defending starts in the opponent’s half of
the pitch. The idea behind that is that if his team does lose the ball, then there are immediately
men available to win it back and build up another attack as quickly as possible.
3 shutouts in a row
Barça have just scored 11 goals in three games against Sporting, Bate
and Atlético Madrid, while not conceding any. In official matches played so far this season, the
Catalans have conceded two goals in five games, while in all the other six matches they have
managed to keep clean sheets.
Similar to previous seasons
Barcelona have had the best defensive records in the last three seasons. The first year they
let in just 35 goals, in the second 24 and last year, 21. The stats have got better and better
since Guardiola arrived, and it would be no surprise for there to be further improvements this time
round. At this stage of the last three campaigns, Barça had leaked 0.7 goals a game, but after
conceding 4 goals in 6 games so far this term, that makes for an even better average of 0.66 goals.
Defence not part of the system
Guardiola has always believed that everybody is responsible for helping out in defence, and
adjusts his system regardless. Barcelona have just played three games using a 3-4-3 system that has
sometimes had to make do without Puyol or Piqué, but the solidity at the back has never wavered,
with no goals scored against them and Valdés not having an enormous amount of work to do.