Luis Suarez may have suffered an indifferent start to the season, but he has made up for it in style as he begins 2018 at a goalscoring pace too hot even for Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Suarez scored Barcelona's only goal on Thursday as the Catalans squeezed past Valencia 1-0 in the Copa del Rey.
The result might have been even more comfortable for the hosts at Camp Nou were it not for some heroic keeping from Jaume Domenech, but they nevertheless hold the advantage going into the semi-final second leg.
Once again, in a recurring pattern so far in 2018, they had their Uruguayan hitman to thank for victory.
Suarez has now scored nine goals in all competitions this year, more than Messi, Ronaldo or any other La Liga player so far.
That flurry has come in just eight games, with Barca's Copa defeat to Espanyol - in which Suarez entered as a second-half substitute - the only game he ended with a blank.
The striker overall has 20 goals in 29 appearances for his club, having netted just 11 in 21 before Spain's winter break.
Messi has netted eight so far in 2018, while Ronaldo has scored four in his six outings, all in La Liga.
9 - Luis Suarez has scored nine goals in 2018, more than any other La Liga player in all competitions. Crucial. pic.twitter.com/KWkKkCo5Ih— OptaJose (@OptaJose) 1 de febrero de 2018
Los Che have seen Suarez score nine goals past them since moving to Spain, making the club his favourite opponent alongside Betis.
9 - Luis Suarez has scored nine goals in his nine games against Valencia in all competitions, his favourite opponent for Barcelona, alongside Betis. Nightmare. pic.twitter.com/KVw25br9eq— OptaJose (@OptaJose) 1 de febrero de 2018
And if he can put in a similar performance at Mestalla Barca will already have one foot in the Copa del Rey final, for a record fifth consecutive season.