Barcelona won its La Liga match against Las Palmas on Saturday and is back to the winning ways. But it wasn't a happy afternoon, since Lionel Messi, the club's biggest star, left the match with a knee injury that will sideline him for two months. Here's a few takeaways from what we saw on Saturday:
1. Marc-André ter Stegen is a very good goalkeeper. It's crazy to think that we've even come to question the German for his qualities as a goal-stopper. The insane goals conceded were all put on his back, but his self-confidence is unmatched, and he believes that he is a very good guy at his job. He proved it on Saturday, when Las Palmas went forward when the game was 2-0 looking for a consolation goal. The Yellows did create plenty of chances and found the target in most of their shots, and all but one of them were stopped by Ter Stegen. The goal, once again, was not normal, because the ball was deflected and there was nothing for MATS to do. But for his whole performance, he deserves lots of compliments. Calm down, people.
2. Sergi Roberto is an amazing full-back. Another game at the position, and it always looks like he's improving with every outing. Roberto was sensational on Saturday, and had Luis Suárez not scored his brace, Sergi would have got the Man of the Match voting by everyone. He's got my vote, either way. Sure, it was against weak opposition, but he has done a great job against strong opponents, too. Dani Alves has got a serious contender for his job right now, and it seems like his replacement for the future came out of midfield.
3. Without Messi, this team is still really, really, really good. I've always had the opinion that the only reason why Pep Guardiola doesn't rule the world with Bayern Munich as he did with Barça is simply because he didn't take Messi with him to the Bavarian club. Still, Bayern is a dominant team because it has world-class players. It's the same case with the Blaugrana. This has been such a chaotic start to the season, with so many injuries and crazy results, that we forget how good this team really is, even Messi-less. Leo turns this into an unstoppable force, but they can be Bayern-esque and not only survive, but thrive for the next two months. Luis Enrique is not Guardiola, but he's really good as well. Along with the world-class talent he's still got, he can do some surprising stuff with this supposedly "weakened" team. Let's wait and see.