Barcelona appear to have put their rough patch behind them in January. It is all smiles and goals, lots of goals, especially for Lionel Messi, who has engorged his goalscoring haul and, more importantly, significantly clawed back the gaping chasm which lay between him and Cristiano Ronaldo going into the winter break. The Argentinean has now netted 21 to Ronaldo’s 28.
It has not been a case of the Portuguese striker hitting a dry spell – he has scored three goals so far in 2015, but the frightening rate at which he was knocking them in at the beginning of the season has slowed somewhat. Meanwhile, Barcelona’s faltering and the lack of goals from their talisman were starting to take a toll on Luis Enrique’s side, culminating with the embarrassment at Anoeta. However, since that fateful evening, Messi has scored for the ‘Azulgranas’ in every league match, making for a total of six goals – three more than the current top scorer in the division over the same period.
Neymar has also catapulted himself into the fight to be crowned Spain’s top scorer. Although he is still some way off the pace, he is driving hard, hand-in-hand with Messi, in a bid to finish the campaign ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.
At the other end of the field, we would be remiss not to mention the contributions of Claudio Bravo. Not only are Barcelona hitting hard up front, but they are showing great solidity at the back, with the Chilean shot-stopper having conceded less than 10 goals in La Liga (9 to be precise).