The brilliant return after the break started to lose its shine with the progress of time. Barcelona struck four in their first match after the return and then showed signs of fragility in the next match and in the third outing against Sevilla they fired blank and dropped points giving Real Madrid a great opportunity to take the top spot even though Real would need their arch-rivals to dish out such a pathetic display more often.

There had been a lot of hype about Quique Setien reviving the tiki-taka at Camp Nou, but so far, it has hardly been noticed.

He had gambled on leaving Antoine Griezmann on the bench and playing Martin Braithwaite but the Danish international fared no better than the Frenchman, working hard but seeing little of the ball.

Luis Suarez started the game and would play his first 90 minutes since his knee operation but he also had no joy in front of goal.

He gave his best to beat Tomas Vaclik. Jules Kounde got forward for Sevilla to shoot just wide. And he headed off the line from a Lionel Messi free-kick.

Gerad Pique spent the last 20 minutes as a number9 but more often than not he was waiting for crosses that never came as the ball was played to Artur wide right only for the substitute to continually check back and play a pass inside.

Ever Banega came on at the half time and his range of passing lit up the game but when Munir and Lucas Campos ran into space on to his defence-splitting passes they could only blast the ball at Ter Stegen who kept his fourth clean sheet in a row.

With time running out and Pique a desperate number nine trying to break the deadlock Suarez had Barcelona’s best chance – Jordi Alba crossed from the left and Suarez made good contact with the ball but was unable to get over it, watching it sail agonizingly over the top.

Sevilla then had their golden opportunity and it fell to a Real Madrid loanee. The ball dropped to Sergio Reguilon on the edge of the six-yard box but with his weaker foot, he squandered the chance hitting his shot at Ter Stegen.

The goalscorer against the lower-ranked sides in the previous two matches since the return of La Liga, Messi had an absolutely frustrating night. By the way, his followers rate him, Messi failed to deliver in a night, where he was much needed to strike gold. But he fired blank.

Messi had lost his temper just before half time pushing Diego Carlos over after he had been fouled. In fact, he punched Carlos and went away without receiving a red card.

It was a completely biased attitude shown by the match officials, where Messi should have been booked and sent off. Imagine someone like Cristiano Ronaldo or Neymar in place of Messi, the action would have been totally different, but we live in an era, where all the support and sympathies are allocated for just one player only and many fans are not sure why Messi always receives so much favour from the officials and media and getaway.

Is this acceptable?