Barcelona is now on track to win its first major title since Lionel Messi left. The team’s 1-0 win over Villarreal on Sunday gave them an 11-point lead over Real Madrid at the top of La Liga. Pedri scored the only goal of the game in the 18th minute. This was Barca’s sixth straight league win, while Real’s domestic form has been stumbling. In Morocco, Carlo Ancelotti’s team won the Club World Cup last week. In their last five La Liga games, they have only won twice. They will try to close the gap on their rival when they play Elche on Wednesday.
Barcelona tops La Liga by beating Villarreal 1-0
The Azulgrana is known worldwide for playing beautiful football; this season, they have often found new ways to win. Barca’s win over Villarreal on Sunday was a scrappy, hard-fought three points. It was also Barca’s seventh 1-0 win of the season, which tied the Catalan club’s record for most 1-0 league wins in a season with 17 games.
Even though they won, head coach Xavi, who did a great job of turning things around after a rough season last year, told his players that the title race isn’t over and that there’s still a lot of room for improvement. The team’s tight defence has been one of the best parts of Barcelona’s run for the title.
This season, Xavi’s team has only lost once, a 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in October. They have given up only seven goals in 21 La Liga games. As Xavi was quick to point out, the title is not a sure thing, but it will take a lot for a Los Blancos team that is out of sync to beat a Barcelona team that is on a roll.
“It’s not an insurmountable distance [over Real]; there are 17 games left,” he told reporters, per Diario Sport. “I’m happy; we’ve had a very good run of results, extraordinary. We are solid, serious, and hardworking. These games are difficult, and it is one more example that the team is solid.
“I see many pre-goal options that do not materialize. The last pass was missing, the decision-making. When you don’t capitalize, it’s always the same, you suffer until the end. But we took three vital points for the fight for the league.”