They have had to spend six months and twenty days for Barcelona to recover its status as a ‘top 3’ team in LaLiga. Only on the first day, in mid-August, the Blaugrana team had positioned itself among the first, specifically in third place, after beating Real Sociedad 4-2 at the Camp Nou. That day he added the 3 points, but Real Madrid and Sevilla were ahead by having better goal difference.
On the second day, the Blaugrana have already dropped one place, to fourth, after draw in San Mamés against Athletic (1-1). Position they maintained on the third day, thanks to a narrow win against Getafe at home (2-1). On that third day it was curiously the closest Barcelona was to the lead, adding 7 points, the same as the leader, Real Madridand four other teams (Sevilla, Atlético, Valencia and Mallorca).
But from the fourth day, Koeman’s team fell apart in the standings: a game postponed (Seville at the Sánchez Pizjuán) and two consecutive draws (Granada and Cádiz) dropped the team from the Champions zone, until they dropped to ninth place, on the twelfth matchday, eleven points behind the then leader, the Real society.
That was the ‘real’ panorama of the team that Xavi Hernández took over at the beginning of November. Four months later, the team has climbed to third position, tied with Atletico Madridto 48 points, but with the ‘plus’ that the Blaugrana still have to play the game against Lightning at Camp Nou to be in the same conditions as the rest. 203 days later, Barcelona only have two rivals ahead of them, Real Madrid and Sevilla.
Precisely, the next challenge is now to catch up with the Seville team, which occupies second place. The distances are still very far, but not insurmountable: Lopetegui’s team has 55 points, that is, seven more than Barcelonabut the fact that the Blaugrana have a game postponed could end up reducing the advantage to four points, to which We must add the pending visit from Sevilla to the Camp Nou.
So that, the ‘Xavi effect’ continues to wreak havoc in the championship: he has added 31 of a possible 42 pointswith the merit that nine games have been outside the Camp Nou and only five at home, he has been undefeated for three months and has already climbed six positions in the table…