Does Gerardo Martino care that he’s only one match away from equaling the mark set by Guardiola’s side during the 2011-12 campaign, when Barcelona began the season by avoiding defeat in their first 21 games? Not really. He focuses on wins, sure, but eventually, what matters are the titles he ends up with.
For him, having a year like 2009, when Barcelona won every possible title – The league championship, Copa Del Rey, Champions League, European and Spanish Super Cup and the Club World Cup, is a far more important goal to seek after.
A match in Amsterdam against Ajax doesn’t seem to be what puts a dent to his impressive start, which includes going undefeated in the league and the Champions League, while picking up the Spanish Super Cup in a two draw affair with Aletico Madrid, claiming the title thanks to one away goal from Neymar.
The Young Brazilian is also the reason the Lionel Messi injury seems like a less worrying fact than it usually would have. Neymar isn’t replicating the goal numbers Messi provided even when he’s slightly hurt, but his presence on the pitch gives Barcelona a talented go to guy who draws just as much attention from defenders and has no problem handling it.
Until Messi returns, there’s more than enough to carry Barcelona forward – into the next stage in the Champions League and keeping Real Madrid (who also have lost their biggest star for a few matches) at bay. By the time Barcelona face Atletico Madrid in what might be the biggest match of the season, Messi should be back, and Martino supposedly will still be undefeated, but with a better view of his first title, as six and nine point margins at this stage in the La Liga are almost impossible to erase.