Barcelona had a litmus test in Lisbon. The perfect afternoon against Levante, including the stellar return of Ansu Fati, calmed the spirits after the slip-ups against Granada and Cadiz. But everyone was looking to the match against Benfica to gauge the team's true level.
And the first blow was dealt to the blaugranas very early on. It didn't take the Portuguese side three minutes to take the lead at Estadio Da Luz. That was the time it took Darwin Núñez to break the defence and open the scoring.
It was Eric García who dropped to the right side of the box to cover the former Almeria striker. Or to try to, rather, because the Uruguayan cycled past him and left him behind with astonishing ease.
Núñez went inside, with Eric out of the action, and unleashed a right-footed strike at the near post. The low shot surprised Ter Stegen, who stretched out his right arm to no avail.