Barcelona head coach Gerardo Martino has leapt to the defence of Lionel Messi after his star attacker again misfired.
While Alexis Sanchez's 68th-minute strike was enough to hand the Catalan giants a 1-0 victory over city rivals Espanyol on Friday, Messi failed to score for the third game in a row.
As Sanchez's golden run in front of goal continued - the Chilean has now scored eight goals in seven matches in all competitions, Messi's poor form has attracted plenty of questions, although Martino remains unconcerned.
"I keep saying the same thing, I keep having to do an exclusive analysis of him (Messi) in every game," Martino said.
"He is the most important player in a team full of amazing players. He plays in his own way and offers us what he offers.
"If we keep winning, we will see the best of all of our footballers very soon."
Messi appeared to cut a forlorn figure after the match but Martino denied the Argentine was down on confidence.
"I don't think he's worried. In reality, I've seen him make the same facial expressions throughout his career. It's just a coincidence," Martino said.
"In the same way it was strange to see him score in 19 consecutive games (last season) it's also strange he hasn't scored in three games.
"Of course he would have been delighted to keep scoring two, three or four goals per game.
"He set the bar so high that now it seems as if there is a problem. But in my opinion, there's no problem."
Match-winner Sanchez added of Messi: "Leo is in the same form as always.
"He hasn't been scoring goals but he has provided assists, he has been taking on players.
"We think he's the same as always, playing very well."
It was far from a vintage performance from Barcelona but Martino was content with the way his side were able to grind out a win despite being below their best.
"In games like this you will always create chances because your opponents have run so much and they become tired," the 50-year-old said.
"We were imprecise in the final pass but we played the game the correct way, winning well against a team that did an impeccable job in defence.
"We looked to move the ball around, play triangle passes, while also playing long passes up the field. I don't think we lacked intensity when it came to attacking but we did lack continuity in pressing."
|Coach: G. Martino|
|Luis Enrique demands fast start at Gladbach|
|Ancelotti wary of Atletico threat|
|Al Ain 3 El Jaish 1: Caio capitalises on late error|
|Ter Stegen happy with solution to Bravo battle|
|Emery: PSG need time to gel|
|Hernandez: It was very difficult at Real Madrid|
|Derby stand down Pearson ahead of Cardiff match|
|Rodgers sympathises with ´poor guy´ Allardyce|
|Opponents are trying to get Ribery send off - Hoeness|
|Martino named Atlanta United head coach|
|Rodgers urges Celtic to have belief against City|
|Rodgers has made same impact as Guardiola - Brown|
|Benfica one of the best in Europe, warns Sarri|
|Menotti: Ronaldo never played in a team like Messi´s|
|Walcott happy to move on from Arsenal struggles|
|Champions League Matchday Two: Bayern hunt Atleti revenge|
|Coquelin facing three weeks out|
|Arsenal transfers beyond reproach, says Wenger|
|Schubert extends Gladbach contract|
|Lewandowski urges Bayern to learn from Atletico defeat|
|Griezmann feared Simeone to PSG was ´a done deal´|
|FA investigating Allardyce claims|
|Valencia keep Voro in charge for Atletico clash|
|One of Serie A´s all-time greats: The numbers behind Totti at 40|
|Toure brands FIFA ´complacent´ after racism taskforce closed|
|Emery expects Ronaldo to stay at Real Madrid|
|Tottenham not scared of Moscow trip - Alderweireld|
|Sessegnon signs with Montpellier|
|Rakitic delighted with form|
|Gameiro: I could have joined Barcelona|
|Stones talks up Celtic quality|
|Liverpool good enough to win title - Houllier|
|Klopp happy with Firmino in central role|
|Watford got bullied all over the pitch - Deeney|
|Nuno keen for Porto to end England misery|
|Legia boss Magiera set for whirlwind debut|
|´Terrific´ Burnley delight Dyche|
|Burnley 2 Watford 0: Landmark goals for Hendrick and Keane seal first win in four|
|Schmidt lauds hitman Hernandez|
|Klopp not banking on Liverpool winning title|
|Kroos plays down Ronaldo rage rumours|
|Confidence coursing through Copenhagen|
|Madrid form draws no concern for Zidane|
|Burki looking forward to ´dream´ Madrid clash|
|Juve and Higuain have work to do - Allegri|
|CSKA boss Slutski wary of Tottenham threat|
|Pochettino: Kane to return within three weeks|
|City youngster Diaz signs three-year deal|
|Aurier vows to ´continue working hard´ for PSG despite prison sentence|
|Tuchel expecting Ronaldo on top form|
|Ter Stegen eyes new Barcelona deal|
|Hazard: No excuse for Arsenal defeat|
|Cisse back in training with Auxerre|
|Hummels resumes training ahead of Atletico clash|
|Facing Barcelona´s MSN not a nightmare, insists Bravo|
|Thiago: Atletico defence best in the world|
|Alonso wants to end career at Bayern Munich|
|Ranieri went to Slimani for Porto advice|
|Draxler: Wolfsburg blocked my exit|
|Samoura defends abolishment of racism task force|
|Sampaoli backs Nasri for France recall|
|Gisdol ´twitching with joy´ at Hamburg presentation|
|Zanetti determined Inter will return to the top|
|Getafe sack Esnaider|
|Bartra happy with playing time at Dortmund|
|Aurier handed two-month prison sentence over police altercation|
|Klopp attributes Lallana´s fine form to hard work|
|Totti´s wife slams ´small man´ Spalletti|
|Guardiola has already done an amazing job at Manchester City - Alonso|
|Referees attacked by hooligans in Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Griezmann: I am not the anti-Benzema|
|Sterling hails Guardiola´s role in goalscoring form|
|Champions League Matchday Two: Madrid look for first win in Dortmund|
|Smalling confident Rooney will bounce back|
|Vardy fears ´permanent stain against my name´ following casino incident|
|Brave Wilshere will reap rewards of loan move - Howe|
|MLS Review: Sounders surprise Galaxy, Kamara double sinks New England|
|Walcott a special case - Wenger|
|Guardiola striving for more after perfect 10|
|Chelsea risk another mid-table finish, admits Conte|
|Montella feels AC Milan lacked courage|
|Robben speaks out on injury fears|
|Fiorentina 0 AC Milan 0: Ilicic misses penalty on Montella´s return|
|Gisdol replaces Labbadia at Hamburg|
|Ibrahimovic threatened me over Pogba deal - Raiola|
|Balotelli could make Nice return against Krasnodar|
|Southampton deserved to win – Bilic|
|Podolski takes aim at Mourinho over Schweinsteiger treatment|
|Atletico midfielder Augusto suffers ACL injury|
|Sagna: More to Aguero than goals|
|Errors are urgent matter for Schalke - Weinzierl|
|Puel delighted with sublime Southampton second half|
|Simeone praises ´decisive´ Gameiro|
|Noble: West Ham can´t get any worse|
|Pjanic: I will play wherever Allegri needs me|
|West Ham 0 Southampton 3: Defensive woes pile pressure on Bilic|
|Kondogbia makes the same mistakes often – De Boer|
|Gray backed by Dyche after ban for abusive social media posts|
|Gabriel needs time to get used to Serie A - Ausilio|
|Atletico Madrid´s Gimenez and Augusto doubts for Bayern Munich clash|
|Atletico Madrid 1 Deportivo La Coruna 0: Griezmann downs 10-man Depor|
|Angry Spalletti slams Roma players´ attitude|
|Liverpool have unbelievable quality - Milner|
|Simeone´s son Giovanni scores first Serie A goal|
|Ivanovic: Chelsea let Conte down|
|Inter 1 Bologna 1: Battling Bologna end Inter streak|
|Guardiola: Top-four finish very tough for Man City|
|Rodgers expecting tough test against City and Aguero|
|Zamparini admits Balotelli interested Palermo|
|Former Swansea, Arsenal great Mel Charles dies|
|Asamoah, Rugani ruled out for up to seven weeks|
|Totti reaches 250 Serie A goals in Roma defeat|
|Alves makes LaLiga history as Valencia see off Leganes|
|Guardiola rues De Bruyne injury as Man City await scan|
|Las Palmas draw could prove costly, admits Morata|
|Gabriel explains choosing Inter over Juventus|
|Hamburg dismiss Labbadia|
|West Ham players expect Payet´s free-kick magic - Antonio|
|Man City must tell Guardiola to stop, says Toure´s agent|
|Hamsik thrilled to reach 100 Napoli goals|
|Zabaleta warns Man City over Celtic backlash|
|MLS Review: Red Bulls, Toronto into play-offs|
|´We were unlucky´ - Bale|
|Guardiola keen for Spurs test|
|Rodgers: I never fell out with Sterling|
|Wenger hails ´different´ Walcott|
|Mazzarri backs Deeney for England call-up|
|Mamelodi Sundowns and Zamalek reach CAF Champions League final|