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FC Barcelona won 2-0 at Alavés on Saturday, and as usual here’s out post-match round-up of facts and stats from the game:
- This has been the sixth season in a row that Barça have won the first two games of their Liga campaign – an all-time record for any club in the compatition – dating back to 2010 when the Catalans opened with a 2-2 draw with Betis.
- Gerard Piqué played his 400th official match for the first team. Only twelve players before him have reached the four-ton milestone.
- Leo Messi now has 351 in his all-time Liga account. Only one other player has ever scored that many goals for the same club in one of Europe’s major football leagues and the Barça star is now closer than ever to catching him: Gerd Müller of Bayern Munich, who scored 365.
- Messi is the only player who can claim to have scored in every one of the last fourteen editions of La Liga. Only Xavi (15) can claim to have netted in more separate campaigns for the club.
- The woodwork has denied Messi from notching up even more goals. He’s hit the post or crossbar no fewer than four times in just two league fixtures! Unlucky!
- Ernesto Valverde joins a unique club of managers that have guided the team to consecutive clean sheets on the first two match days of a Liga season. The other coaches to achieve the feat were Ljubisa Brocic (1960/61), Terry Venables (1984/85), Johan Cruyff (1988/89), Carles Rexach (1990/91), Louis van Gaal (1997/98), Tata Martino (2013/14) and Luis Enrique (2014/15 and 2015/16).
- Paulinho made his FC Barcelona debut when he came on for Andrés Iniesta with two minutes to go. It didn’t give him much of a chance to shine, but he did manage two clean passes and won one tackle.
- Valverde clearly has faith in La Masia. No fewer than eight of the players he used were products of the club’s own youth system, namely Sergi Roberto, Piqué, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Iniesta, Aleix Vidal, Messi and Gerard Deulofeu.
- Ter Stegen kept a second consecutive clean sheet, while also making two key saves and touching the ball 29 times.
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