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Not only is this proving to be FC Barcelona's best ever season in defence, it is the best season in defence for ANY team in La Liga at this stage of the competition. Marc-André ter Stegen has just kept his 17th clean sheet in 22 games, but it's not just the German keeper but the whole team that is simply brilliant at stopping the opposition from scoring goals.
With just seven goals conceded in almost 2,000 minutes of football, the team have done a brilliant job of silencing the old cliché, more of a myth than actual fact, of Barça not being too strong at the back.
Better than 1986/87
Barça's previous record after 22 games was the nine goals they had conceded in 1986/87. Despite the great start that season, things didn't end so well and they ended up leaking 29 goals, and that was in a season that was four games shorter than it is now.
Deportivo and Atlético surpassed
As for the record for all teams, before today, Barça were matched with two other great defensive performances. But Deportivo de la Coruña let in two goals at the Santiago Bernabéu in the 22nd game of their record-breaking season and although Atlético Madrid of 2017/18 were also matched with this season's Barça, they also conceded in week 22.
It means no side has ever gone as far as Barça have done this season without conceding more than seven goals.
Chasing the full Liga record
The all-time defensive record for a complete season of Liga football is just 15 goals, something that Real Madrid did twice in a row, in 1931/32 and 1932/33. The thing is, those achievements can hardly be compared to the modern era because in those days there were only 18 games.
It was the aforesaid Deportivo campaign that was the best defensive performance in a 38-game league season, when the Galicians ended up letting in just 18 goals, until that amazing record was equalled by Atlético, but curiously not in the season described above, but the year before, 2015/16.
Barça need to avoid conceding more than 11 goals in their last 16 games to set a new record. They're going about things the right way, but there is still a LOT more work to be done! It won't be easy, but here's hoping...
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