Last Saturday’s 2-0 win at Rayo meant that for the first time ever, Barça have lasted seven league games into a Liga season without conceding a goal, meaning Claudio Bravo has broken the record set by Pedro María Artola in 1977/78. But it’s not only the Chilean who must be thanked for those perfect 630 minutes. The whole defence has played a part in the achievement.
Luis Enrique has no fixed back four, and has instead gone for seven different formations in the seven Liga and two Champions League games played to date. As he keeps saying at press conferences, he is not the kind of man to use a set starting eleven, and this is a prime example of his in-depth use of the squad – he’s used nine different defenders this term.
The only game in which the Barça defence was beaten was against PSG in Paris. The foursome that day was Dani Alves, Mascherano, Mathieu and Jordi Alba, the only formation that has been used more than once this season. Those four also played in the 3-0 win over Elche at the Camp Nou and the 5-0 rout of Levante at the Ciutat de València.
Montoya, Piqué, Bartra, Douglas and Adriano have also played at the back for Barça this season, with Mathieu and Alves getting the most starts, seven each, and Jordi Alba getting six.