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After winning 1-0 away to Girona, while Real Madrid could only draw 0-0 at home to Real Sociedad, FC Barcelona are five points clear at the top of the Liga table. It means that even though there is still one more game to play before the league reaches its half-way point, the Catalans are already guaranteed the honorary title of winter champions. They play Real Betis this Wednesday at 9pm CET in a game that was originally postponed due to the Spanish Super Cup.
It's been a fabulous campaign so far. Real Madrid is the only team that's beaten Barça, and only Espanyol and Rayo Vallecano have managed draws. There have been 37 blaugrana goals and just 6 against, including a staggering 14 clean sheets.
It's been three years since Barça last led the way at the halfway point. Atlético Madrid had the honour in 2020/21 and last season it was Real Madrid. Both leaders went on to win the trophy, although the last time Barça were winter champions, in 2019/20, it was Real Madrid who finished top in the end.
But that was an exception. Of the 26 times that Barça has led after the first round of matches, they have gone on to win the competition 17 times. And this century, they have ended up victorious in 8 out of 12 occasions, most recently in 2018/19.
Of Barça's overall collection of 25 league titles, 14 came after leading at the midway stage.