FC Barcelona team group during the La Liga match between Girona FC and FC Barcelona played at Montilivi Stadium on January 28, 2023 in Girona, Spain.

12 unreal stats from Barcelona’s outstanding 2022-23 La Liga season

Whisper it quietly but Xavi’s Barcelona have been nothing short of outstanding across the 2022-23 La Liga campaign – and we have the numbers to back it up.

It’s been a rough couple of years for Barcelona. Off-field issues and financial implosion have seen the club lose their all-time greatest player in Lionel Messi, while they’ve gone three years without winning the La Liga title and exited the Champions League at the group stage in successive seasons.

But under club icon Xavi, they’ve gradually turned a corner and look more than capable of reclaiming their crown as the kings of Spain.

Barcelona were exceptional in their Super Cup final victory over old rivals Real Madrid, lifting the first piece of silverware in the Xavi era, and they’ve been remarkably consistent in picking up points to remain on top of the La Liga table.

Their 1-0 win away to local rivals Girona was their seventh straight win in all competitions and fourth successive clean sheet.

Despite Barcelona’s stellar record this season, Xavi has demanded more from his players in terms of their performances.

“We have to improve, above all by taking more on in attack. Girona changed their style [sitting back] which surprised us, but we dominated the ball and pressed high,” Xavi said following the 1-0 win over Girona.

“We have to create more. We have to be calmer in the final third. I am happy with the three points, but we have to be self-critical and acknowledge there are situations we need to improve.”

Whatever Xavi thinks about how his side has played, he’ll surely be satisfied with their excellent points return in La Liga at the cusp of the halfway stage of the 2022-23 campaign.

Here are 12 statistics that highlight just how good Xavi’s Barcelona have been so far this season.

– If Barcelona beat Real Betis in midweek, they’ll have taken 50 points from 19 matches. That would see them on track to match the all-time La Liga points tally of 100 points, held by Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid (2011-12) and Tito Vilanova’s Barcelona (2012-13).

– That would see Barcelona move level with Arsenal (Premier League) and Napoli (Serie A) as the best-performing side in Europe’s top five leagues at the halfway stage – 50 points from 19 matches.

– Barcelona have taken 19 points more (50%) than they had at this stage last season. After 18 games last season, Barcelona had picked up just 29 points and sat seventh in the La Liga table. Only Newcastle have improved more season-on-season in Europe’s top five leagues.

– Xavi’s side boast the best defensive record in Europe, having conceded just six goals in 18 La Liga outings. That’s five fewer than the next-best (Newcastle with 11 goals conceded).

– They’ve kept 14 clean sheets (77.8%) and are on course to beat Chelsea’s record of 15 goals conceded in the Premier League in 2003-04.

– Marc-Andre ter Stegen has played every minute of Barcelona’s La Liga and been integral to their stellar defensive record. He has the best save percentage in Europe’s big five leagues (90.2%).

– Only Erling Haaland and Harry Kane have scored more in Europe’s top five leagues this season than Robert Lewandowski (13 La Liga goals).

– Only Bayern Munich (66.7%) and Man City (65.4%) average a greater share of possession than Barcelona (65%) in Europe’s major leagues this season.

– Barcelona’s current run of eight games without a defeat in all competitions in 2023 is the longest unbeaten run in Europe’s major leagues this calendar year so far.

– Pedri has scored with eight of his 11 shots on target (72.7%) during Xavi’s time as Barcelona manager – via @OptaJose. Clinical.

– Only Manchester City (+25.6xG) have a better expected goal difference in Europe’s major leagues. Barcelona boast +22.6xG. Real Madrid, for reference, sit eighth in that metric with +18.1xG.

– Barcelona have won their last three matches via a 1-0 scoreline – the first time they’ve done so in 43 years.

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