Barcelona Moves Eight Points Clear Of The La Liga, Can Real Madrid Close The Gap?

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    Barcelona moves eight points clear of the La Liga standings after the Catalan club secure a victory on Sunday, 5th of February, 2023.

    Barcelona
    Barcelona

    Barcelona are the favorites to win the La Liga title for the first time since 2019 following Real Madrid’s defeat to Real Mallorca.

    Barcelona beat Sevilla at the Camp Nou by 3 goals to nil, thanks to goals from Gavi, Jordi Alba, and Raphinha’s fine finish saw Xavi’s men sit comfortably at the top of the table.

    After this loss, Sevilla drops to 16th, only two points above the relegation zone.

    In recent weeks, Barcelona’s coach Xavi Hernandez had been harsh on his side in recent weeks for failing to close out victories after taking the lead, they delivered at Camp Nou. Including their Sunday’s win, Barca has won 10 straight league games and 15 straight overall.

    When Barcelona’s captain Sergio Busquets went down with an ankle injury after only four minutes, it dealt a major blow to the team’s strategy. He was replaced by Franck Kessie.

    Despite this, the benefits outweighed the drawbacks by a wide margin. The goal that broke Sevilla’s resistance was largely the work of Xavi’s supporting cast, rather than his star players, like Gavi and Raphinha, who both scored for the first time this season in the league.

    Barcelona
    Jordi Alba scores for Barcelona

    Although Franck Kessie has been relatively quiet since his transfer from Milan, it was his nifty turn and pass inside the box that set up Jordi Alba for the game-winning goal.

    The left-back’s salary is too high for Barca’s precarious financial situation, and the club is still eager to sell, but he is a true gentleman and has accepted the captain’s armband in Busquets’s absence.

    The goalkeeper for Sevilla has been one of the main obstacles for Barcelona. In the first half, they created more scoring opportunities, with Bono making two key saves to deny Robert Lewandowski’s efforts.

    After a great game, Xavi made the right call by taking off Raphinha and Alba. They both received a standing ovation from the Camp Nou crowd as they exited the pitch.

    The fact that Barcelona could still win without their starting striker scoring was a huge plus.

    Indeed, things are looking great for the team right now with an eight-point lead over Real Madrid, who must also contend with two Club World Cup games at a time when they are starting to lose ground in the domestic tournament.

    Barcelona
    Raphinha is happy to score for Barcelona

    Can Real Madrid close the gap?

    As things stand Xavi and his men will look forward to continuing their fine form as Real Madrid will only focus on another tournament.

    Carlo Ancenloti’s men have a couple obstacles to contend with as they lose their shot stopper to injury while preparing to face Mallorca. Therefore, Real Madrid will find it difficult to catch up with the league leaders as the race for the championship continues.

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