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Rafinha is scoring more goals this season than any other in his professional career | MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

The 2-1 victory away to Atlético on Sunday (match report; highlights) sent out a serious message – the Liga title race is very much alive. A win at the home of one of the world’s strongest football clubs is something to shout about, and here’s our usual round-up of facts and stats from the game:

  • Rafinha’s great season continues. The Brazilian was on target again this weekend, and that’s 11 goals in 72 official starts for FC Barcelona. This is already his best campaign so far, with seven goals. In the league, he’s found the net against Leganés, Sporting, Deportivo (2), Granada and now Atlético, while he also got one in the cup against Hercules.
  • Leo Messi is now outright leader in both the Spanish and European goalscoring charts with twenty league goals. It means he has now gone for nine consecutive seasons (since 2008/09) with at least twenty goals in his account.

  • Luis Enrique managed Barça in his 100th league fixture, a number he can also add to the 207 appearances he made as a player. This way for full details of that milestone.
  • Speaking of milestones, Leo Messi has won his 400th game for Barça. It also means that he has moved to the top of the all-time ranking for foreigners with the most league wins for the club, 277, which he shares with Dani Alves.
  • Barça stuck to their game plan of playing the ball out from the back. Gerard Piqué made the most good passes of the game (62). As for tackles won, it was Sergio Busquets who came out tops in that category with seven.

  • Messi has now scored 27 times in his 34 games against Atlético Madrid, meaning the mattress-makers are now his joint top ‘victim’ along with Sevilla.
  • Barça have now gone for twenty domestic fixtures against Atlético Madrid without losing once. The last 14 league meetings have ended in 11 wins and three draws.
  • Every time Samuel Umtiti has started a league match for Barça, the Catalans have won. That’s 13 out of 13 so far, and the French centre back was one of the outstanding performers on Sunday at the Calderón. 
  • This is the second time this season that Barça have strung together four consecutive wins in the league (Athletic Club, Alavés and Leganés were the other teams in this streak, while earlier on in the campaign, they were victorious against all of Deportivo, Valencia, Granada and Sevilla).
  • Neymar Jr caused nightmares for the Atlético defence – and sometimes the only way to thwart the Brazilian was by ignoring the rulebook. The N part of the MSN was on the receiving end of eight fouls.

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