The 2022-2023 League won by Barcelona will be remembered as the League of Xavi, Ter Stegen and the 1-0. The Catalan coach has managed to transform his team in a year and a half, going from being an unstable and irregular group to being a rocky, recognizable and reliable one, whose legs no longer tremble when the rival tightens the nuts. This competitive resurrection has several key points, starting with the irruption of differential players and even the change of mentality to know how to adapt to adverse contexts. From Ter Stegen to Lewandowski, going through Araujo, Pedri or Raphinha, this Barça has recovered its winning character.
Without going into sensations, the data shows the main arguments that have supported Barcelona this season. These are some of the statistics that explain how Xavi has once again turned Barça into league champions:
Xavi’s most important mission was to find stability. The previous years, especially last season, Barcelona was a team capable of the best and the worst, but without finding a middle ground. The wins against great rivals such as Madrid (0-4 at the Bernabéu), Atlético (4-2) or Athletic (4-0) were accompanied by embarrassing defeats against Cádiz (0-1), Rayo (1-2) or Betis (0-1). This campaign, as reflected in the Elo ranking, a complex statistic used by FIFA that classifies teams according to various variables and gives them a score that symbolizes their potential, has undoubtedly achieved this. Last season, Barcelona had a variance of more than 100 points between their best and worst moments, while this campaign their extremes of form have been separated by less than 40 points.
squeeze to the end
One of Barcelona’s biggest problems last season was the difficulty in closing games. On several occasions, the Barça team was ahead after the last minutes of the game and the rival managed to tie or even turn the score around. Xavi has nipped this trend in the bud for this season, insisting on the need to reach the decisive minutes at the top. Kessie’s goal against Madrid at the Camp Nou (1-2) with time already up is an example. The data reflects this dynamic: the Catalans have scored almost half of their goals in the last 15 minutes of each half (29 to 35 scored in the rest of the time); On the other hand, they have only received four goals in that time (nine in the rest of the minutes), none that have changed the sign of the game.
more direct game
Despite the fact that Xavi has tried to avoid the question, this season Barcelona have changed their style, even if only slightly, moving from the traditional idea of hogging possession to a more direct game, with more long passes and less short ones. . The data reflects a decrease of more than 100 passes per game compared to two seasons ago, just before the arrival of Xavi. This reduction has focused on short combinations (from 350 to 261 per game), while long shipments have gone from 42 per game to 53. Ter Stegen, Araujo or Koundé have had no qualms about looking for Lewandowski long or the wingers with their good foot to put the ball, generating several scoring chances.
Historic Ter Stegen
Without question, Marc Andre Ter-Stegen has been the most important player in the achievement of the League title. The German is signing the best season of a goalkeeper in the history of the League, leaving the goal blank in 25 of 34 games, one match away from Liaño’s record with Deportivo in the 1993-1994 season (25 in 38). His figures at the Camp Nou skyrocket to 15 of 17 games unbeaten, an absolute record for the competition according to data from the journalist MisterChip. With only 13 goals against and a percentage of saves that is close to 90%, there is no goalkeeper in Europe that can be compared to the Barcelona goalkeeper (no other goalkeeper in the five major leagues reaches 80%), who is scored on average one goal every 23 shots. If we add to these data that Barcelona is the team that receives the third fewest shots per game in Europe (8.6, only surpassed by Lille, 8.4, and Manchester City, 7), it becomes clear that scoring a goal Ter Stegen this year has been practically an impossible mission.
The value of the goal (by Pedri)
With 11 games won 1-0 or 0-1, Barcelona has equaled the league record for teams with the most wins thanks to this result, according to data from the journalist MisterChip. The other clubs that signed this figure are Valencia from the 1988-1989 season, Atlético de Madrid from 2017-2018 and Sevilla from 2020-2021, with Barça being the first to win the League title with this brand. With 64 goals to add 85 points, Xavi’s men have a points/goal average (1.32) much higher than their eternal rival, Real Madrid (0.98), the highest for a league champion since Valencia de the 2001-2002 season.
Lewandowski, Dembélé and Raphinha, the trio of attackers, account for more than half of the team’s goals (33 of 64, 21 from the Pole, seven from the Brazilian and five from the French), but the player who has scored the most points with his goals it’s Pedro. The six goals for the Canary Islander have directly netted him 12 points thanks to the four 1-0 victories achieved with a goal for the Canary Islander (Getafe, Girona, Celta and Villarreal). No other LaLiga player has given so much to his team.
You can follow EL PAÍS Sports on Facebook and Twitteror sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.
Subscribe to continue reading
Read without limits