Barcelona win 2022/23 La Liga title as their defence chases insane records

FC Barcelona are the 2022/23 La Liga champions thanks to a virtuoso 4-2 win over local rivals Espanyol on Sunday night. With the league in the bag, the team can now aim for some different targets.

Barca asserted their dominance early on in their visit to Espanyol. Robert Lewandowski opened the scoring just after the ten-minute mark, with Alejandro Balde adding a second soon after. Lewandowski then made it 3-0 before half-time.

With the title seemingly secured by the interval, Jules Kounde’s goal following the break meant that Barcelona could really enjoy the game. However, a pair of Espanyol goals from Javi Puado and Joselu tarnished the Blaugrana’s brilliant defensive record.

Nevertheless, Barcelona are now the 2022/23 La Liga winners, claiming their first title since 2019. They have achieved this with four games to spare – the second earliest champions across Europe’s top-five leagues this season.

While their star-studded attack, featuring top scorer Lewandowski, has been brilliant, Barca’s defence is the unit on the verge of some historic records.

Barcelona: the records that their defence can break in the coming weeks

Xavi has truly masterminded a tactical overhaul at Camp Nou. His side has received praise throughout the campaign for their appealing style of play. And yet, sometimes, Barca have depended on their defence to grind out results.

The club totally revamped their defensive options at the start of 2022/23. New signings came in, and youngsters emerged as crucial pieces to the team. They all combined to create a solid unit that has consistently thwarted opponents.

Per La Liga, the team’s defence has been historically stingy at giving away goals. Keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has kept a staggering 25 clean sheets in 34 La Liga games. This is already a single-season record in Spain, which he can add to in their last four matches.

With this clean sheet tally, the Barca back four needs just one more to overcome Jose Mourinho’s historic 2004/05 Chelsea side. They also had 25 games without conceding. If Barcelona reach 26 clean sheets, then they will hold the 21st century record for a single season across Europe’s top 5 leagues.

Meanwhile, a further domestic record is within the team’s grasp. At just 13 goals conceded from 34 matches, Barca are on course to break the La Liga record for fewest goals conceded in a campaign.

This currently belongs to two teams. Firstly, Atletico Madrid, when Diego Simeone’s men let in 18 goals during the 2015/16 season. Deportivo La Coruna also saw just 18 goals go in against them in 1993/94.

 So, Barcelona will need to limit themselves to under five goals conceded in their last four matches to take this record.

Even though he has led Barca to glory, Xavi refuses to take full credit for the team’s success.

Xavi reacts as Barcelona secure 2022/23 La Liga crown

The manager could not have been happier at his side’s success when speaking to Barca TV+.

“I have the feeling that it is a job well done,” said Xavi on winning the league. “We started in July and we have put in an extraordinary campaign. It’s really important for the stability of the project and it confirms that we’re going about things the right way.”

The coach did not want to take away from the united effort that delivered Barca’s 27th La Liga title.

“It’s not Xavi’s league, it’s Barca’s league title. A Barca that is growing and developing. I am delighted for the players, the staff, and for the board. I feel really proud to coach these players.”

The Catalan giants see out their season with four more fixtures, but now as champions. A triumphant home match against Real Sociedad awaits this weekend, after which Barca visit Real Valladolid.

The last Barcelona home game of the 2022/23 La Liga campaign sees them face Mallorca. Finally, the club see out their season away at Celta Vigo.

Watch La Liga on Viaplay, available in the UK on Sky, Virgin TV, Amazon Prime Video, and via streaming.

Featured image credit: Getty