Barcelona belongs to Messi… and Ter Stegen!

While it is Lionel Messi who is leading the Barcelona attack to the LaLiga title, the defence is also playing its part with Marc-Andre ter Stegen now favourite for the Zamora gong.

Two goals conceded by Jan Oblak at Villarreal on Sunday put Atletico Madrid back to 14 for the season so far, nudging the Blaugrana’s tally of 13 into first place.

It means that, throughout the 29 game league campaign, ter Stegen and his Barcelona colleagues boast the best defence in Europe.

It is a remarkable improvement by the German goalkeeper, who conceded 33 times in 36 matches last season, when he took over the No. 1 jersey from Claudio Bravo.

Now in Ter Stegen’s sights is the league record for least goals allowed in a 38-game season, currently held at 18 by Atletico Madrid’s Oblak in 2015/16 and Paco Liano’s Deportivo La Coruna in 1993/94.

With nine games left to go, the Azulgrana are on course to run that close and are even ahead of European giants such as Juventus, who have let in 15, Napoli (19), Bayern Munich and Manchester City (both 20).

Finally, there is another record up for grabs as Luis Enrique’s tally of 33 clean sheets kept across all competitions in 2014/15 is under threat by Ernesto Valverde’s charges, who sit on 30 from the 47 games played so far in 2017/18.