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Barca maintain streak

MADRID, January 25 – After winning their historic treble last season it was always going to be difficult for Barcelona to produce that consistency again but statistics show their high standards have not dipped much.
Barcelona beat Valladolid 3-0 on Saturday to stay five points ahead of Real Madrid, who won 2-0 at home to Malaga on Sunday, to complete a fantastic first half of the season with a last 16 Kings Cup exit to Sevilla the only real blip.

Barcelona became only the fifth team to be unbeaten at the midway point of 19 games, joining Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Espanyol and Real Sociedad in the elite club.

No Spanish team has ever gone the whole season unbeaten over a 38-game season with Real the last side to go the whole campaign unbeaten back in 1932 although there were only 18 games.

A record of 15 wins and four draws has produced 49 points just one less than their record-breaking 50 point total at this stage last season.

"We got 50 last season and 49 this season so we are on the same track but there are lots of games left in the season," said coach Pep Guardiola.

"It is not bad to finish the first half of the season unbeaten but there are so many games left to play.

"At this stage last season we were 12 points clear of Madrid and we had to go to the (Santiago) Bernabeu to win the league."

Last season Barca streaked 12 points clear of their rivals Real but then let their guard down and had to produce a title winning 6-2 win at the Bernabeu to all but clinch the title.

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Guardiola is obviously keen to avoid the same thing happening again and preferred not to dwell on the five point gap.

"I still don’t think the (points) difference is an issue, there’s plenty of games left to play," added Guardiola. "How we get through now is up to us, not any other team."

As well as going unbeaten Barca have the best attack in the league with 49 goals and the meanest defence conceding just 10 goals.

Barca’s 3-0 win over Valladolid meant a third consecutive clean sheet in the league and a lot of that was down to goalkeeper Victor Valdes who pulled off some key saves.

"On a personal level I am happy and thanks to the confidence we have and the run the team are on I am not conceding many goals," said Valdes.

"Letting in just ten goals is to everyone’s credit and I am proud of the whole defensive system and my team-mates."

Following their elimination from the Kings Cup and with the Champions League ties against VfB Stuttgart not until February, Barca can focus solely on the league – something they couldn’t do much last season.

"It is time for the league now and we don’t have any other competitions at the moment," said Andres Iniesta.

Iniesta also defended striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic who has hit a dry patch with his last goal coming back in December.

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"He (Ibrahimovic) understands the game well and gives us lots of options and for a central midfielder that is essential," explained Iniesta.

"He doesn’t need to worry about not scoring because he is a great striker and the goals will come."

Goals have not really been a problem for Barca of late with Lionel Messi scoring six in the last three games to take his season’s tally to 15 while the team has plundered 12 in the last three outings.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Mazzdark

    November 18, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Unforseen circumstances have forced Africa to finally contemplate its place in the world….

    • Noah England

      November 19, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      Noah Freeman England wants an orphanage of a place of your choice. A University of Phoenix grad. and a CPR certified student. Reside at Indianapolis, Indiana, E. Market St. 46204. love learning and fashon. Love hygene and realistate, love my lotion company to prosper. The name of my business is Noah Freeman England. l also want a non- profit organization and a elementary school in America. I want to further my studies at school at Martin University. I also want to find a way to travel and maintain a place to call home. I love someone out loud. I can sing alot of colors to raise in my orphanage. We need your help. I am kind and just and children i want. So I love my chioldren and want my suceed. i want food for my love. I want hula to drown deep in us. And I want fun and not baggage just business Fubu and a baby line. then drown deep again. and a nice healthy advantage in game ethics for justice in economics for my people of black ethinic orgin and not a murder. I want access in home for entertainment and a way room designed for iconnection of sponsorship of my people and a way to alwayse find out why people seem to be gone all the time for un-noticable advancement from my nature. I want social media knowledge justice freedom of employment for some and job for I. I want less politics and more presence of production. I want alot of education for my men and my body mostly my retirement. I need these in a modified time reguardless of why i need them we will love who we love sincerely b.

      • Mazzdark

        November 20, 2013 at 8:21 am

        ???

      • Duncan Muchina

        November 25, 2013 at 6:29 am

        Stop drinking!

  2. Qwani

    November 18, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Firstly, the NGO Bill has to go through. Some of these NGOs are nothing more than extension of foreign embassies.
    Secondly, the UN has its owners. Those owners look out for their own interests and not that of Africa. It is important that Africa unites and begins to look out for its own interests.

  3. grace mwai

    November 19, 2013 at 3:36 am

    I sometimes read or watch the Kenyan media and feel sorry for the so called Kenyan elite , commentators and journalists. I happen to be a naturalized American citizen who is Kenyan born and raised. Iam proud of my country despite that it made me an economic refugee during Moi era. What those Kenyans don’t realise id that Americans fight tooth and nail even for their own criminals in foreign lands eg. the diplomat who recently committed vehicular homicide in Nairobi, Amanda[ the girl who allegedly murdered another girl in Italy] and many other criminals all over the world with the excuse that no other court can try an American fairly in the world. If any country or people attack our president, we all come together regardless of political affliations. So those Kenyans who go about attacking their motherland or president in foreign lands should know that they are all laughing stocks or fools even though they are given a few dollars in exchange. I LIVE WITH THEM AND KNOW HOW SOME HOLD AFRICANS WITH DISDAIN.

    • kush

      November 20, 2013 at 11:40 am

      those uncle tom sell outs will die bitter men cos all their sinister agendas and works will end up embarrassingly in the public domain.Remember NO weapon formed against us shall prosper.Let the devil and his minions do what they do best but still they can’t bring darkness where there is light.

    • Anne Biti

      November 22, 2013 at 11:53 pm

      I agree completly with this view. I’m a Kenyan who have lived in Europe for almost 3 decades. My conclusion is that Africa is not respected at all, the general opinion in general population and at policy making levels is that Africans are divided, shortsighted and there to be exploited. Africa is not taken seriously and any progress made by any African country is still ignored or attributed to aid donor’s contribution. To think that any western country cares about our problems/human rights or victims’ rights or justice is very naive. They only think about their own interests. Only Africans should/can solve their own problems themselves at home, and the illusion that the West will solve our problems will end with more division among ourselves, humiliation, exploitation and the sad confirmation that inspite of the 50 years of independence and hard work, we are still at the mercy of the former masters.

    • Duncan Muchina

      November 25, 2013 at 6:32 am

      That’s the grace I dream about….full of wisdom and poise!!!

  4. Antony Mbandi

    November 23, 2013 at 9:48 am

    This is an interesting piece and pretty refreshing. I 100% join the call for Africa finding solutions and taking lead in solving her problems.

  5. OrdinaryCitizen

    November 24, 2013 at 2:53 am

    Very unfortunate perspective here. What are Africans doing to bring justice to the African victims. For some reason, perpetrators have now become victims and the reverse is true.

  6. unitykey

    November 25, 2013 at 8:50 am

    There are no African solutions with the current AU setup unless changes are made to it! Think Big or outside the Box, not just Kenya or Uhuru Kenyatta, if we don’t have the ICC what then for all the atrocities going on in Africa?, AU has always been there what has it ever done apart from protecting the African Presidents, unfortunately it is not serving the purpose for which it was created. It is understandably when you are all out there crying foul and pretending you are so African while you are living abroad and not on the receiving end of the brutality committed by the so called ‘African presidents’, but we need the ICC(or a neutral place where they can be tried and certainly not in an AU court,). The impunity must end, unfortunately African leaders don’t have the guts to stand up against fellow African leaders who are committing atrocities or are a cause of such in their own countries, hence the need for the ICC. there is an African saying; ‘do not spill the main dish just because someone spilled the soup’, or in Kiswahili; ‘Usimwage ugali kwasababu mwenzako kamwaga mchuzi’. you end up with a loose loose situation instead of of a win win situation for Africa. THE IMPUNITY MUST END… PERIOD!!!!!

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