Ernesto Valverde was without Lionel Messi on Sunday evening and the match against Levante illustrated perfectly just how difficult Barcelona find life without the Argentine.
Los Cules watched their dreams of an invincible season go up in smoke as an Emmanuel Boateng hat-trick and Enis Bardhi brace condemned them to a 5-4 defeat.
Messi was left at home and wasn’t on hand to save the team as he has done on so many occasions over the course of this campaign.
The 2-2 draw with Sevilla saw the Argentine at his very best as he dragged his team over the line to remain unbeaten, but this magic just wasn’t present on Sunday.
Philippe Coutinho tried valiantly and scored a hat-trick himself, but Valverde’s charges lacked a spark, maybe even belief too without Messi.
Diego Simeone and Antonio Conte have previously been quick to suggest that the difference maker for the Catalan giants was the La Masia graduate, and Sunday proved just that.
Without him, the team didn’t look like the balanced force that has taken the domestic title from Real Madrid and it’s clear that they are just a different proposition without their talisman.