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FC Barcelona and December have made for a perfect combination in recent seasons at the Camp Nou. Since losing 1-0 to Real Madrid on 23 December 2007, the team has never lost a home fixture in the final month of the year.
The run began in the first game of December 2008, a crushing 4-0 defeat of Valencia, and since then we have enjoyed 11 wins and just one draw. Is it purely coincidence, or is there something about this period that brings the team to its peak? Perhaps because such ‘distractions’ Champions League group stage and international breaks are finally over, perhaps because new signings need time to adjust to the unique way that Barça plays, or any number of other factors, but the statistics speak for themselves.
Only Deportivo la Coruña have managed to leave the Camp Nou with a point in December fixtures. It doesn’t matter who has been in charge – it’s been a success story under four different managers, and neither dos the quality of the opposition a factor. There have been some huge December games, including a 2-0 defeat of Real Madrid in 2008/09.
The goals have flowed as well, no fewer than 44 for Barça (3-6 a game) compared to just four conceded. Leo Messi has scored a bumper 15 of those, including a hat-trick against Espanyol and four braces against Real Sociedad, Athletic Bilbao, Atlético Madrid and Cordoba. So let’s hope December 2016 brings plenty more of the same, starting in El Clásico on Saturday!.
|06-12-08||Guardiola||FCB 4-0 Valencia||Henry -3-, Dani Alves|
|13-12-08||Guardiola||FCB 2-0 R.Madrid||Eto'o, Messi|
|12-12-09||Guardiola||FCB 1-0 Espanyol||Ibrahimovic|
|12-12-10||Guardiola||FCB 5-0 R.Sociedad||Messi -2-, Iniesta, Villa, Bojan|
|03-12-11||Guardiola||FCB 5-0 Levante||Cesc -2-, Cuenca, Messi, Alexis|
|01-12-12||Tito Vilanova||FCB 5-1 Athletic||Messi -2-, Piqué, Adriano, Cesc|
|16-12-12||Tito Vilanova||FCB 4-1 Atlético||Messi -2-, Adriano, Busquets|
|14-12-13||Tata Martino||FCB 2-1 Villarreal||Neymar Jr -2-|
|07-12-14||Luis Enrique||FCB 5-1 Espanyol||Messi -3-, Pedro, Piqué|
|20-12-14||Luis Enrique||FCB 5-0 Cordoba||Messi -2-, Suárez, Pedro, Piqué|
|12-12-15||Luis Enrique||FCB 2-2 Deportivo||Messi, Rakitic|
|30-12-15||Luis Enrique||FCB 4-0 Betis||Suárez -2-, Messi, Westermann (o.g)|
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