Barca approach business end of the season with 10-match unbeaten run

March 19, 2024
FC Barcelona put together one of their best performances of the 2023/24 season, thrashing Atletico de Madrid 3-0 on the road

New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) On Sunday night, FC Barcelona put together one of their best performances of the 2023/24 season, thrashing Atletico de Madrid 3-0 on the road. The capital city side hadn’t lost a LaLiga match at the Estadio Civitas Metropolitano since January of 2023, also against Barca, but after 25 league games undefeated in front of their home fans Los Colchoneros were put to the sword by a clinical Azulgrana attack.

Despite suffering a setback when Andreas Christensen, who had been excellent in recent weeks, went down injured in the warm-ups, FC Barcelona took to the pitch with purpose. Joao Felix opened the scoring in the first half against the club he is on loan from, before Robert Lewandowski started the second 45 minutes by scoring his 13th goal of the season.

Fermin Lopez, the player who came in for the injured Christensen, rounded off the scoring to earn FC Barcelona three points that place them eight behind Real Madrid with nine rounds to go and with El Clasico on the horizon.

FC Barcelona’s 10-match unbeaten run

As they head into the March international break, FC Barcelona are in great form. They have gone 10 matches undefeated across all competitions, as they’ve won seven and drawn three since their 5-3 home defeat against Villarreal CF.

It was after that shock loss that Xavi announced to the media that he would step aside as the team’s coach at the end of the season. “I want to announce that after June 30th I won’t continue as FC Barcelona coach,” he stated after that Villarreal CF clash. “I decided this a few days ago, but I think this is the right moment. The club needs a change.”

Since Xavi announced that he would step aside at the end of the season, the Catalan outfit have won seven games and drawn three.

While Xavi might have taking about the club needing tweaks in the off-season, there has actually already been a change in form. Since he made that announcement, his team haven’t lost a game and they have reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2019/20. They have been the best team in LaLiga EA Sports too during this run, taking 20 points out of a possible 24.

Speaking about what has changed, Robert Lewandowski revealed after the win in Madrid that: “In the last two, three or four weeks, we have changed our training a little bit, adding more intensity. Physically I also feel very good now and I think it’s the same for my teammates. We want to take a step forward. After the international break, we have a very important run of games. We’ll be fighting for LALIGA EA SPORTS and the Champions League. We want to win, but also play better.”

Lewandowski certainly has returned to his best form, scoring seven goals during the past 10 matches. There has also been a marked improvement in defence, with Barça having put together four clean sheets in a row for the first time this LaLiga season. The return of Marc-Andre ter Stegen is one factor, and so too the breakout of 17-year-old centre-back Pau Cubarsi, who has stepped into the back line and played like a veteran.

This is a squad that is motivated, is in good shape and is starting to click in defence and in attack. Following the international break, FC Barcelona have a busy April in which they’ll aim to keep up this good form, in their Champions League tie against PSG and also in ELCLASICO at the Bernabéu on April 21st. If they can win that game and put the pressure on Real Madrid, then Los Azulgrana could have a shot at retaining the LaLiga title they won last season.

–IANS

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