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FC Barcelona under Xavi Hernández seem to be raise their game for the big occasions. That's not opinion, it's fact. Since the new coach arrived, the team has won 17 of its 20 games against Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, Sevilla, Athletic and Valencia, the five teams (other than Barça themselves) with the best all-time records in the competition.
In fact, of the 'big five' opponents, Real Madrid is the only only that has won a league game against Xavi's Barça, something they have done twice in four games, the last time in the 'Rolling Stones' Clásico at the Estadi Olimpic.
Xavi won 4-2 in his first encounter with Atlético Madrid, and all three games since then have ended 1-0 to Barça, including last Sunday's game decided by a solitary goal from João Félix.
The only other one of the five traditional 'giants' to have taken points off the Catalans is Sevilla, who mustered a draw at the Sánchez Pizjuán, but have lost all four games since then, with Barça scoring eight goals to no reply.
Things haven't gone too well for Athletic Club against Xavi Hernández either. Four games and four defeats, and ten goals conceded while the Basques haven't managed a single one.
Barça have also got a 100 per cent record against Valencia since the new coach took over. The first was a big win, the next two were tighter affairs, with Lewandowski grabbing a very late winner the last time the sides met. Barça will be heading back to Mestalla later this month with the intention of keeping the good run going.