February 25, 2018

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Suarez, Valverde defend Coutinho after quiet debut

30 January 2018

Lionel Messi scored a brilliant free-kick late on, as Barcelona came from behind to defeat Alaves and maintain their unbeaten start to LaLiga.

Luis Suarez praised Philippe Coutinho's contribution in the 2-1 win over Alaves despite the midfielder's quiet full debut for Barcelona.

Luis Suarez had broken the away side's tough resistence with a sweet volley from Andres Iniesta's cross 18 minutes from the end, setting the stage for Messi's dramatic and stylish victor.

Alaves went into the game two points and two places above the relegation zone but could have doubled their lead in the second half when a cross from Guidetti made its way to Ruben Duarte, whose shot was blocked by the body of Gerard Pique.

Lionel Messi scored a spectacular free kick to give Barcelona a hard-fought 2-1 win over struggling Alaves Sunday while Luis Suarez was also on target as the Catalans battled back from a goal down at the break to stay 11 points clear at the top of La Liga with 57 points.

Coutinho joined FC Barcelona after making a record switch from Liverpool at the start of January. "He has important skills, the other day he played 20 minutes, today he played a little more, he's growing into the team little by little".

"The first half was not very good but the coach gave us a good talking to at half-time, and we responded well", said Griezmann, whose goal was just his seventh in the league this season but his fourth in league and cup since the turn of the year.

"In the second half we knew what we were playing for and we got the three points".

"I asked Umtiti and save cutting off his hand we don't think there's anything else he can do about it".

Suarez, Valverde defend Coutinho after quiet debut