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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Sports
Suarez, Messi save Barca from upset
    2018-January-30  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

LUIS SUAREZ and Lionel Messi came to the rescue again by scoring late as Barcelona avoided an upset at home and maintained its comfortable lead in the Spanish league Sunday.

The duo added to their scoring run in a come-from-behind 2-1 win against relegation-wary Alaves at Camp Nou, keeping the Catalan club 11 points in front of Atletico Madrid, which earlier defeated Las Palmas 3-0 at home.

The result extended Barcelona’s unbeaten streak in the league to 21 matches, its best mark since Pep Guardiola’s team did the same in the 2009-10 season.

“It was a complicated match,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. “They made it difficult by taking the lead. We had to keep pressing until the end to get the victory.”

Sitting just outside the relegation zone, Alaves surprisingly went ahead with forward John Guidetti scoring midway through the first half. The visitors threatened constantly on the counterattack until Suarez evened the score with a volley from inside the area in the 72nd minute after a cross by Andre Iniesta.

Messi netted the winner with a well-struck free kick in the 84th, hitting the top corner.

Suarez and Messi have combined to score at least a goal each in seven of Barcelona’s last eight matches. Messi is the league’s leading scorer with 20 goals, followed by Suarez with 16.

Messi found the net 11 times in his last 12 games, while Suarez scored 12 goals in the last 10.

Philippe Coutinho made his debut as a starter, being replaced in the second half. The newly signed Brazil midfielder had played a few minutes in Barcelona’s win over Espanyol in the Copa del Rey on Thursday.

Alaves was unsuccessful in two key appeals for a hand ball during the game.

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid ended its three-match winless streak by beating Las Palmas with second-half goals by Antoine Griezmann, Fernando Torres and substitute Thomas Partey. Atletico opened a six-point gap to third-place Valencia, which lost at home to Real Madrid on Saturday. Madrid is fourth, two points behind Valencia with a game in hand.

Atletico was coming off elimination in the Copa del Rey quarterfinals against Sevilla, and it hadn’t won since a league game at Eibar two weeks ago.

“It wasn’t a very good first half for us but we recovered and created many chances,” Griezmann said. “We still have two competitions left and we will keep fighting until the end.”

Griezmann broke the deadlock early in the second half after a great pass by Juanfran Torres into open space. The France forward entered the area and flicked the ball over goalkeeper Leandro Chichizola.

Torres scored a superb goal in a breakaway about 10 minutes later, clearing a defender inside the area before shooting into the top corner. Partey closed the scoring from close range two minutes from the end after another counterattack.

Las Palmas, which defeated Valencia at home in the previous round to snap a seven-match winless run, stayed second-to-last in the 20-team standings.

(SD-Agencies)

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