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Messi and Cesc / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

The first half the 2012/13 season will be difficult to forget. Barça finished their 19 La Liga matches with a record amount of points  (55 from 57 possible) and now sit 11 points ahead of Atlético Madrid and 18 points clear of Real Madrid, second and third in the table, respectively. With that said, it’s time to focus on the most pertinent stats from the first half of the season:

Messi leads goalscoring table: The Argentine closed out his best ever first half of the season in terms of goals. He’s netted 28 times in 19 matches. This number of goals is unprecedented in the first half of the season, however, last year he scored 28 goals in Barça’s last 19 La Liga matches.

64 goals in favour: Behind Messi sits Cesc with 6 goals, and then Villa, Xavi and Adriano (5 apiece). Of Barça’s 64 goals, 29 have been scored at the Camp Nou, while the remaining 35 were scored away from home. No other team in Spanish football has scored as many goals as Barça this season.

20 goals conceded: Barça have allowed 20 goals in La Liga this season, only Málaga and Atlético Madrid have conceded fewer goals. The Blaugrana conceded 7 goals at the Camp Nou and 13 on the road.

Equal amount of goals in both halves: Curiously, Barça have scored the same amount of goals on both sides of the break (32 goals in the first half, and 32 in the second). This stat is similar when it comes to goals conceded (10 goals conceded in each half).

FCB dominate general stats: The first half of La Liga has one dominant team when it comes to general stats, FC Barcelona. The Blaugrana lead in assists (41), lowest amount of balls lost (only 1,601, to Valencia’s 1,678) and amount of possession (690 minutes, to Madrid’s 498).

Kings of passing: It’s one of those stats that seems exaggerated in comparison to the other 19 teams in the league. Tito Vilanova’s men have completed 13,475 passes to Real Madrid’s 8,031 - who are second in this particular statistic. That’s a difference of more than 5,000 completed passes.

Valdés, the most used player: Víctor Valdés hasn’t missed a match in La Liga - he’s played a total of 1,710 minutes - making him the most used player by Tito Vilanova. Messi follows the keeper with 1,652 minutes, then Busquets (with 1,503 minutes), Xavi (1,480), and Jordi Alba (1,454).

Three permanent players: Only three players have featured in all 19 La Liga matches so far this season. They are Valdes, Messi and Xavi. Busquets and Pedro have missed one game, while Cesc and Alba have played 17 out of 19 matches.

Super subs: Thiago, Alexis and Villa are the three players that come off the bench with most regularity for the Blaugrana (7 time apiece). Cesc, on the other hand, is the footballer that has come off the most times (on 9 occasions). Valdés, Messi and Piqué have never been subbed out.

Only one starting XI used twice: Vilanova has sent out 18 different starting line-ups in Barça’s 19 La Liga games this season. The only times the manager used the same team was against Levante (0-4) and Espanyol (4-0).

Only one red card: Barça have been reduced to 10 men on only one occasion. Javier Mascherano was given his marching orders in Riazor against Deportivo. In terms of yellow cards, Busquets has earned the most (7), followed by Cesc, Pedro, Piqué and Mascherano (all with three). Alba, on the other hand, is the player that has committed the most fouls (23), and Messi has received the most (46).

Fair Play leaders: FC Barcelona are also the least carded team in the competition. The Blaugrana have received 28 cards to Real Madrid’s 43 (second least carded team). Espanyol are the team that have been booked the most, with 85 yellow cards. Barça are also the team that have committed the least amount of fouls (177).


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