4 positives from Lionel Messi's injury layoff
Catalan giants FC Barcelona played their last 5 games across all competitions without their talismanic forward, Lionel Messi, after the playmaker suffered an injury setback during a 4-2 victory over Sevilla FC in a crucial LaLiga fixture.
The Argentine had scored one and assisted the other of Barcelona's 2 goals early in the game to put the LaLiga champions in a confident position, but he was unlucky to fall on his arm, and suffered a fracture as a result, and hence was ruled out of action for 3 weeks.
However, it wasn't all negative for the Catalan giants who found a perfect way to respond to the absence of their star player - claiming 4 victories and 1 draw in their last 5 games without their talisman, which included an overwhelming 5-1 thrashing of arch-rivals Real Madrid at the Nou Camp, as well as a convincing 2-0 defeat of Inter Milan in a UEFA Champions League encounter at the same stadium.
Therefore we take a look at 4 positive effects the Argentine's injury absence had on La Blaugrana.
#4 Luis Suarez back to his obvious best
Knowing quite well that Barcelona needed another attacker to step up and take on the goal scoring responsibilities at the Nou Camp in Lionel Messi's absence, Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez emerged in frightening form - firing the Catalans in front of goal and sending an incredible message to all doubters of his abilities.
The former Liverpool forward was quite unstoppable when it really mattered, producing a couple of extraordinary performances for La Blaugrana, especially in the big games.
He delivered an inch-perfect long pass to Rafinha to open the scoring against Inter Milan in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League encounter, before following it up with a fantastic hat-trick to down Real Madrid in their recent clash.
After sitting out Barcelona's Copa Del Rey clash during the midweek as Ernesto Valverde opted to rest his key players, Suarez returned to action during last weekend's victory over Rayo Vallecano, and he was highly influential once again, bagging an incredible brace against the Spanish side to continue with his impressive record in front of goal.