It's been a tumultuous season at Camp Nou so far, but FC Barcelona regain traction following the International break. When Lionel Messi went down clutching his knee, 10 minutes into a September 26th home match against Las Palmas, everyone in the stadium knew that the unthinkable had happened. Messi had dodged injury for nearly two years, ever since a hamstring injury that caused him to miss the last few months of 2013. The knee injury Messi suffered in the Las Palmas match shattered that streak and demanded that he take two months to rest and recover.

Needless to say, Messi's injury has put Barcelona's title hopes in doubt for the 2015 2016 season. Barca held things together to win the Las Palmas match but lost their next La Liga fixture, an October 3rd away game at Sevilla. The loss cost Barca their spot at the top of the 2015 2016 La Liga table.

The good news is that Barcelona look to have regained their synergy following a two-week rest. The weekend of October 10th, of course, was an international break for the last matches of the Euro 2016 qualifiers-among other international competitions. Barcelona's best players, for instance-Neymar and Luis Suarez-were both competing in the South American World Cup qualifiers for the Brazil and Uruguayan national football teams, respectively.

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Winning Games without Lionel Messi

In other words, the international break didn't afford much rest and recuperation, but it did give FC Barcelona a chance to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to win soccer games without Lionel Messi.

And win games they did, or, at least, one game. In their second full game since losing Messi to injury, Barca made an impressive showing, beating Rayo Vallecano 5-2. The fixture was the perfect opportunity for Barcelona to regain their confidence. For one thing, it was a home game, played in front of adoring crowds at Camp Nou. For another, it was against Rayo Vallecano, one of the weaker, easier-to-beat teams on the La Liga table this year.

In particular, Neymar was on fire in Saturday's game. The Barcelona Home Shirt 2015 - 2016young Brazilian star scored four goals in the match. Rayo Vallecano struck first, going up 1-0 at the 15-minute mark. But Neymar was fouled twice in the next 20 minutes and converted both of his penalty goal opportunities into points. Those penalty goals put Barca up 2-1 at halftime, though Neymar had a few other scoring opportunities in the first half that could have given the reigning Spanish soccer champs an even bigger advantage.

Rather shockingly, Rayo Vallecano led the game in terms of possession, controlling the ball for 55 percent of the match proceedings. The Red Sashes also had a few great opportunities to equalize early in the second half but were repeatedly denied by Barca goalkeeper Carlos Bravo.

Neymar and Suarez: A Duo for the Ages

Once the match crossed the hour mark, though, Rayo Vallecano simply ran out of opportunities to draw even with their hosts. At the 69-minute, Luis Suarez took a shot at the goal. He was denied, but Neymar rebounded the ball and put it in the net to complete his hat trick. A minute later, he took an assist from Suarez to score a fourth.

At the 77-minute mark, Neymar returned the favor to Suarez, providing an assist to allow the Uruguayan striker his first goal of the match. Rayo Vallecano would score again in the final minutes of the match, but between Neymar and Suarez, the Red Sashes simply weren't strong enough offensively to catch Barcelona.

Neymar, Suarez, and Messi are arguably the greatest front three that Barca have ever had. Without Messi, though, Neymar and Suarez seem to be developing an entirely new dynamic. Following his four goals against Barcelona Away Shirt 2015 - 2016Rayo, Neymar is currently La Liga's top scorer, two goals ahead of Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema and Celta de Vigo's Nolito. Suarez has the lower tally, with four goals, but will still be instrumental in keeping Barca afloat until Messi returns.

Barca's win against Rayo Vallecano puts the football club in third place on the La Liga table, behind Real Madrid and Celta de Vigo. All three teams have 18 points in the standings and are merely separated by goal difference. Interestingly, Barcelona's biggest problem right now isn't the loss of an offensive star, but an ineffective defense. The football club have allowed 11 goals this season-the third highest tally of any team in the La Liga top 10.

Can Barca find their defensive footing in the next few weeks to keep their title hopes (and their Champions League prospects) alive? Pick up a new Barcelona shirt 2015 2016 at Soccer Box to root for the squad!