FC Barcelona: Top 5 performers in Lionel Messi's absence
It was a huge blow to FC Barcelona when their talisman, Lionel Messi suffered a shocking injury recently. The Argentine was superb during a crucial LaLiga fixture against Sevilla on matchday 9, helping the Catalans to earn a brilliant 2-0 lead early in the game only to injure his arm in the 25th minute.
Although Barcelona went on to win the game 4-2 and returned to the top of the LaLiga table, their victory was met with mixed feelings as Messi was ruled out for 3 weeks after tests were carried out on his injured arm.
With a couple of crucial matches ahead, Ernesto Valverde's men found themselves in a difficult situation as the Blaugrana have often found life very tough in the absence of their star man.
Therefore, some football fans were waiting patiently to see how the LaLiga champions would cope with the challenge of playing in the absence of their playmaker while some were quick to predict they would find themselves in the same shoes as Real Madrid, following Cristiano Ronaldo's departure this summer.
However, 4 matches have been played without Lionel Messi and Barcelona have put all doubts to bed with their electrifying performances - recording 4 convincing victories in the absence of the Argentine which include a 5-1 humiliation of their arch-rivals Real Madrid and a vital 2-0 victory against Inter Milan in the Champions, as well as scoring a whopping 11 goals in the process.
Below, we take a look at 5 incredible superstars who stood up in the absence of Leo and performed extraordinarily to help the Blaugrana achieve such incredible results:
#5. Clement Lenglet
When Clement Lenglet signed for Barcelona during the summer transfer window, many felt the move was a premature one for the French defender. But apart from refuting such claims during interviews, the Frenchman also took to the pitch to prove that his move to the Catalan capital wasn't a mistake - especially in the absence of the indispensable Messi.
With both Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen out injured, Barcelona found themselves in a delicate situation at the centre of the defence but Lenglet was there to bail them out, producing a couple of scintillating performances and surprising everyone with the way he quickly established himself in the team.
The defender impressed in all the matches he played during the absence of Messi, including high profile games against Real Madrid and Inter Milan as well as stepping up to score the winner against Cultural Leonesa to grant the Catalans a perfect start to their Copa Del Rey campaign this term.