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Madrid draw leaves Barcelona five points clear at top of La Liga

The lead has been extended after an intriguing weekend

Girona FC v FC Barcelona - LaLiga Santander Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barcelona have gone five points clear at the top of the table after a weekend that brought a 1-0 win over Girona for Xavi’s side and a 0-0 draw for Real Madrid against Real Sociedad.

It’s a sight that will please the Catalans as we are (almost) at the halfway stage of the season. Barca play their 19th game of the campaign on Wednesday against Real Betis, while Real Madrid take on Valencia on Thursday.

Barcelona now have the chance to reach 50 points after just 19 games if they beat Los Verdiblancos in midweek. Obviously that will mean they are halfway to reaching the mythical 100 point mark for the season which has been done previously by Real Madrid in 2011-12 and Tito Vilanova’s Barcelona in 2012-13.

Obviously 100 points isn’t the target this season but winning La Liga most definitely is and Barca are in good shape in Xavi’s first full season in charge. The team may not be entirely convincing but the results just keep on coming.

Barcelona’s defence, with just six goals conceded. is playing a big role in the team’s title push but the attack faces questions in the coming weeks. Ousmane Dembele will miss the next month or so due to injury but Xavi can welcome top scorer Robert Lewandowski back from suspension.

Next up is a trip to Real Betis which often produces plenty of goals. Manuel Pellegrini’s side sit sixth in the table and have won two and drawn two in La Liga since returning to action after World Cup 2022.

Yet the two teams met recently in the Saudi Super Cup, playing out a 2-2 draw, before Barcelona won on penalties on their way to lifting a first trophy since Xavi took over.

Barcelona will be gunning for another three points on Wednesday night at the Benito Villamarin. The Catalans won 2-1 on their last visit, at the back end of the season, but it needed a 94th minute stunner from Jordi Alba to secure the three points.

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