Barcelona: Five challenges in addition to winning LaLiga
Ernesto Valverde's team are close to sealing their 25th league title after beating Valencia at Camp Nou, but there are still other challenges to chase down. Portland Timbers vs LA Galaxy: MLS week 21 live online
Barcelona took another significant step towards the LaLiga title with victory over Valencia at Camp Nou on Saturday evening. With a healthy distance established between Barça and second-placed Atlético Madrid, Ernesto Valverde and his players can look at targets beyond a 25th league title.
LaLiga points record
Before the international break, Barça had their eyes on breaking the LaLiga points record, but a draw against Sevilla at the Sánchez Pizjuán made that impossible. However, they can still equal the existing record of 100 points set by Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid and Tito Vilanova’s Barcelona. Three points from each of their remaining LaLiga matches (against Celta, Deportivo, Real Madrid, Villarreal, Levante, and Real Sociedad) will take them to the tonne.
Best LaLiga defence
Valverde’s side can end the season as the LaLiga side with the fewest goals conceded. Barcelona have conceded 17 goals this season, two more than Atlético Madrid. Deportivo La Coruña (1993-94) and Atlético Madrid (2015-16) hold the record for the fewest goals conceded in a season since the top flight became 20 teams, with 18 goals.
A season unbeaten
Barcelona are yet to taste defeat in the league this season. In fact, the Azulgranas are the only club in Europe’s top five divisions to remain unbeaten, with 25 wins and seven draws. No Spanish club has ever gone an entire season without defeat with the current league format. Athletic Club managed it in 1929-30, as did Real Madrid in 1931-32. But back then there were only 18 matches per season.
LaLiga top scorer
Lionel Messi is at the top of the ‘Pichichi’ charts with 29 goals. Yet Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to form in 2018 means the gap is now just six goals with six games remaining.
There are only horses left in the race for the Zamora prize, awarded to the LaLiga goalkeeper who has conceded the fewest goals. Atlético Madrid’s Jan Oblak is currently in the lead, having conceded 15 goals in 31 games, yet Marc-Andre Ter Stegen is hot on his heels. The German ‘keeper has conceded 17 goals in 32 matches, giving him a ratio of 0.53 goals conceded per match.
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