Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde described Luis Suarez’s El Clasico hat-trick as “normal” after the forward fired his side past Real Madrid.
Suarez scored a hat-trick, to go with goals from Philippe Coutinho and Arturo Vidal, as Barca thrashed Madrid 5-1 at Camp Nou on Sunday.
The Uruguay international has been questioned this season, but his latest display took him to seven goals and six assists in 14 games in all competitions.
Valverde dismissed any questions over Suarez, saying what the 31-year-old contributed to Barca was clear.
“That’s the normal situation. Last season with Luis, the same thing happened,” he said.
“Everybody was talking about him not scoring but because he works so hard, the consequences are the results.
“In the long term, that’s what he does. We win from having him in our team.
“I didn’t think many people were going to ask me about Luis Suarez but obviously having scored a hat-trick, his worth is always there.”
Barca are one point clear atop La Liga, while Madrid have dropped to ninth – seven points behind their rivals.