Dembele’s having a big influence on Barca’s season
Ousmane Dembele made headlines again on Saturday night, but this time it was for all the right reasons as he salvaged a point for Barcelona with another important goal.
There’s been plenty of criticism directed at Dembele lately, but the stats show just how important his goals have been this season.
7 - No other player has won more points with his goals than Ousmane Dembélé in La Liga this season (seven points with five goals). Rescuer. pic.twitter.com/36QgTjg6IF— OptaJose (@OptaJose) November 24, 2018
Dembele now has seven goals in 16 appearances this season despite not managing to consistently find his best form.
There are still question marks over whether he has the attitude and personality to succeed at the Camp Nou, there’s no doubt at all that he has the talent.
Barcelona still can’t keep a clean sheet
Barcelona put in a vastly-improved defensive display against Atletico Madrid, with Samuel Umtiti back from injury and Sergi Roberto shifted into midfield.
Ernesto Valverde opted to pack his midfield for the match with Roberto, Sergio Busquets, Arthur and Arturo Vidal which also helped protect the Barca defence.
However, despite it all they still failed to keep a clean sheet. Diego Costa outjumped Rafinha and his header managed to beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
That’s now 11 matches in a row without a shut-out in La Liga. Barce have conceded 19 goals in 13 games, more than twice as many as Atletico.
La Liga title race is still wide open
Saturday’s game provided Barcelona and Atletico with an excellent opportunity to gain some ground in the title race, particularly with Real Madrid losing 3-0 earlier in the day.
A win for Atletico would have seen Diego Simeone’s side go top, while Barcelona could have stretched their lead over the Rojiblancos to four points.
Ultimately both sides had to settle for a point, which you suspect neither manager will be too unhappy about.
The end result is that the title race is still incredibly close. Just five points separate the top six, and Sevilla may yet end the weekend at the top of the pile.