With Messi still a doubt for the game on Sunday against Betis, it's a good moment to review how Barcelona fare without the Argentinean. The answer: not too bad at all. Barça without Messi are unbeaten since 23 May 2009, when, with Guardiola's first league title already in the bag, the team were beaten by Osasuna 1-0. Since then, Barça without Messi have gone 19 games unbeaten.
It's true that many of these games have been in relaxed circumstances, with titles already won, or against lesser opposition (early games in the Copa del Rey), but there have also been tougher matches.
No Messi, but Barcelona beat Mourinho's Inter 2-0 in the initial phases of the 2009-10 Champions League, with goals from Piqué and Pedro. Paradoxically, Barça WITH Messi were unable to beat the same side in the semi-finals that year. But the non-Messified version of the Catalan giants were able to beat a strong Athletic team in San Mamés 1-3.
The overall Non-Messi-Barcelona record since the start of the Guardiola era, continued by Tito is 20 wins, four draws and three losses. All the defeats came in games of no consequence: against Mallorca, Osasuna and Shakhtar.