After 28 games in the current La Liga season, Barcelona have managed to avoid both red cards and penalties, becoming the first team to do so since 1971.

Both Real Madrid and the Blaugrana managed the feat 46 years ago, and this time around Barcelona have enjoyed a number of calls go their way as six players have been sent off against them.

Time will tell how long this run manages to continue and no doubt on top of how it progresses in relation to years gone by.

Lionel Messi scored twice to help Barcelona keep pace in La Liga’s title race with a 4-2 defeat of 10-man Valencia at the Camp Nou on Sunday night.

Barcelona controlled the game even before Eliaquim Mangala was sent off for pulling down Luis Suarez in the box before half-time, but some lapses at the back led to a scoreline that made the game seem closer than it truly was.

The win sees Luis Enrique’s men tighten their grip on second place in La Liga, where they are two points behind leaders Real Madrid, who still have a game in hand.

However, Messi received a yellow card with four minutes to play, which will rule him out of Barcelona’s next game at Granada on April 2 following the international break.

Also, another concern is Barcelona are on a terrible run of form when it comes to keeping out goals from set-pieces.

In Sunday night’s game, Valencia went ahead at the Camp Nou thanks to a brilliantly scored header by central defender Eliaquim Mangala – the third goal let in from a corner in the last two games.

Indeed, last week the Catalans conceded both their two goals against Deportivo La Coruna at Estadio Riazor following corners.





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