It will come as no surprise that Barcelona currently top La Liga after 17 matches of the season, but the Spanish champions have drawn criticism for a perceived change of playing style in the new campaign.
New boss Gerardo Martino has admittedly sacrificed some of their passing football for a more intense approach in the final third, but they face a fight to retain their league crown with Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid both impressing thus far.
That said, it has been a successful campaign for Barca, with Champions League and Copa del Rey progress also secured as the Catalan outfit target success in all three major competitions.
Here, Sports Mole recaps the club's first half of the 2013-14 season.
The relatively unknown Martino replaced Tito Vilanova at the helm, but it did not take long for Barca to make their mark in La Liga with a 7-0 win over Levante on the opening weekend of the season, before they made it six points from two games with a 1-0 victory against Malaga.
There were rumours that former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas could leave for Manchester United, but the Spanish international remained with the Catalan outfit.
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A nervy 3-2 win over Valencia - where Lionel Messi struck a first-half hat-trick - started the month of September, before they continued their winning start to La Liga with a 3-2 win at home to Sevilla – courtesy of a late strike from Alexis Sanchez.
Their Champions League campaign got underway with a 4-0 win over Ajax, before they scored eight times in two wins over Rayo Vallecano and Real Sociedad in the league.
The month ended with a 2-0 win over Almeria, with that result leaving them top of the table on 21 points, although Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid side also boasted seven wins at that stage of the season.
Neymar and Sanchez were also impressing for the Catalan outfit, meaning that Spanish winger Pedro, who himself was among the goals, had to spend time on the sidelines.
They dropped their first La Liga and Champions League points in the middle of the month, however, with draws against Osasuna and AC Milan respectively.
The first El Clasico of the season went the way of the Catalan outfit, however, as Neymar and Sanchez scored in a 2-1 win over Real Madrid, which moved Barca six points clear in La Liga.
Martino's side ended the month with a 3-0 win over Celta Vigo, but criticism was apparent in various quarters due to a perceived change in style. They were winning games, but not in the same manner as under Vilanova and Pep Guardiola.
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Wins over Espanyol and AC Milan in the league and Champions League respectively continued their strong form in both competitions, before a 4-1 success over Real Betis left them three points clear of Atletico Madrid at the top of the league table.
That victory over Betis came at a price, however, with Messi suffering a serious hamstring injury, which was to rule him out of the remainder of the year.
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Their first league defeat of the season came on the opening day of the month as they lost 1-0 at Athletic Bilbao, but they returned to form in the Champions League with a 6-1 win over Celtic.
Progression as group winners into the last-16 stage was therefore confirmed, where they were paired with Premier League side Manchester City in arguably the tie of the round.
Qualification for the next round of the Copa del Rey was also secured after they overcame Cartagena 7-1 on aggregate, before wins over Villarreal and Getafe in the league ensured that they finished 2013 on top of La Liga, albeit only on goal difference from Atletico Madrid.
It is difficult to be critical of a team that has won 15 of their 17 league fixtures this season, but many are tipping Atletico and Real Madrid to provide a stern challenge in the second half of the season.
A number of players – particularly defenders – have been linked with moves to the Camp Nou in January, but it is unlikely that the Catalan outfit will do too much business in the winter window.
Messi will soon be at full fitness, but reports have claimed that the Argentine wants a new long-term and indeed improved contract due to the wages currently being collected by teammate Neymar.
However, talk of a possible departure from Spain are believed to be considerably wide of the mark. One thing is for certain - Barca need a fully-fit Messi if they are to enjoy a prosperous 2014.