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Barça spreads the love
Clement Lenglet added his name to the list of Barça players to have got on the Liga scoresheet this season, and the thirteen different names are more than any other team in Europe’s top five leagues:
Granada CF: 10
Manchester City: 10
Real Madrid: 10
*It is fair to note that if counting all competitions, Eintracht Frankfurt lead the way with 16.
Early birds catch the points
We’ve been getting off to some great starts this season! Lenglet’s was the fourth goal that Barça have scored in the first ten minutes of a Liga fixture this season. It took just 120 seconds for him to score which, incidentally, is the fastest goal by a Barça defender in any competition since Adriano Correia netted against Rayo Vallecano in February 2014.
Tuesday is a good day
We don’t often play Liga games on a Tuesday. In fact, there have only been one a year (19) this century. But we like them. A lot. With yesterday’s victory, we have now won 16, drawn 3 and lost absolutely none of those games on the second day of the week.
Vidal is on fire
Arturo Vidal scored three goals last season. 2019/20 has barely begun and he has already matched that target with a spectacular run and exquisitely timed finish against Valladolid.
"I’m getting more luck than I did last season” he said after the game. “I’m getting chances and I’m making the most of them.”
For his part, Ernesto Valverde commented that “Vidal is a useful player, that’s obvious. He showed that last season and he’s doing it again in this one. The thing is that everyone wants to play and when they don’t they’re upset. What can we do? When he comes on, he does a lot of good things. But so does Rakitic. There are a lot of midfielders. Today it was Arthur who didn’t play.”
Fortress Camp Nou
Not only are we the only team to still have a 100% home record in La Liga, but since the draw in last season’s Copa del Rey semi-final first leg with Real Madrid, Barça have gone on to win SIXTEEN consecutive games at the Camp Nou in all competitions.
Even by Barça’s spectacularly high standards that is a remarkable achievement. The last time we strung together a run like that way, way back in 1974!
Speaking of the number 16…
Sixteen, going on seventeen
But not for long. Ansu Fati was back in the starting line-up just two days ahead of his seventeenth birthday. With Ousmane Dembélé suspended and Antoine Griezmann on the bench, he was given another opportunity to dazzle.
He was his typically active self, and every time he got the ball there was a sense that something special was about to happen. There is imagination and spectacle in everything he does and the camp Nou showed their appreciation of that with a rapturous ovation when he was substituted.
Happy birthday, Ansu!
Nobody is safe against Suárez
The Uruguayan has played against 27 different teams in la Liga since joining Barça just over five years ago. The only one that had escaped punishment thus far was Real Valladolid, but after having one goal disallowed for offside, Luis Suárez finally found the net in the 77th minute.
The goal also moves him up to fourth in the all-time ranking of Barça goalscorers:
Leo Messi 608
César Rodríguez 232
Laszlo Kubala 194
Luis Suárez 185
Josep Samitier 184
We can’t stop winning!
That’s seven in a row now, equalling the second longest winning streak of the Valverde era.
September 24 to 29 October 2019
Barça 2-1 Villarreal
Getafe 0-2 Barça
Barça 2-1 Inter Milan (UCL)
Barça 4-0 Sevilla
Eibar 0-3 Barça
Slavia Prague 1-2 Barça (UCL)
Barça 5-1 Real Valladolid
The only way is up
Barça’s season got off to an uncharacteristically slow start, but the engines are running at full capacity now and we’re back on top of the Liga table. That is, however, pending how Granada get on at Eibar on Thursday (9.15pm CET), while Real Sociedad and Sevilla could also pull level on 22 points.
But don’t forget, following the suspension of El Clásico, we still have a game in hand! And Atlético Madrid drawing at Alavés was another boost for our Liga standing.
And as for Leo Messi...
As ever, the Argentinian warrants a section all to himself. He was as outstanding as ever on Tuesday, scoring two and assisting two goals (and amazing eleventh career ‘double-double’), including the conversion of his 50th direct free kick as a pro (including the six he has scored for his country), and becoming the first player to pass the 100-mark under Ernesto Valverde.
He now has 101 goals since the manager arrived, with Luis Suárez second on the list with 64.
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