Barcelona have worst defensive record in 2024 in top five European leagues

Barcelona’s 3-3 draw with Granada on Sunday evening leaves them with the worst defensive record in European football’s top five leagues during 2024.

Barcelona‘s latest poor result in La Liga has left them with the worst defensive record in Europe during 2024 across the top five leagues.

With the Catalan giants remaining inconsistent this campaign and failing to last the pace with rivals Real Madrid and surprise package Girona, Xavi has already revealed that he will leave his role as manager at the end of the season.

That decision was initially taken on the back of a 4-2 defeat to Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey and 5-3 reverse at home to Villarreal in the league three days later.

Blaugrana have since responded with a three-match undefeated streak, their longest unbeaten run since a four-game unbeaten period ended on December 10.

Nevertheless, despite two improved performances in defence against Osasuna and Alaves respectively, Barcelona’s performance against Granada on Sunday has left them at the top of an undesirable table.

Athletic Bilbao's Oihan Sancet celebrates scoring against Barcelona on January 24, 2024© Reuters

Having posted a 3-3 draw against one of La Liga’s struggling sides, Barcelona have now conceded 23 goals from their 11 fixtures in all competitions during 2023-24.

That is more than any other team that competes in the top five leagues in European football, moving ahead of Italian side Frosinone who have shipped 22 times in seven games.

Xavi may take solace from Barcelona not being worst in terms of a ratio of goals conceded per game, yet his team have now conceded at least three times in four separate encounters since the turn of the year.

Each of the two clean sheets that have been recorded have come against Osasuna, the other shutout occurring in the Supercopa de Espana semi-finals.

Barcelona coach Xavi reacts on January 14, 2024© Reuters

Stretching back to December 10, Barcelona have conceded 33 goals in 15 fixtures, and they now hold the joint-12th worst defensive record in La Liga.

On Sunday against Granada, Xavi partnered Inigo Martinez with teenager Pau Cubarsi in the middle of the back four, instead moving Andreas Christensen to a defensive-midfield role.

However, the switch did not pay off, the division’s second-bottom side establishing a 3-2 lead with 24 minutes remaining before Lamine Yamal equalised with 10 minutes left.

Barcelona now face back-to-back away fixtures, first facing Celta Vigo in domestic action before they make the trip to play Napoli in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

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