Suarez and Barca boss back Coutinho after first Barca start


They are now eleven points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid and look poised to lift the title with talisman Lionel Messi and midfielder Paulinho in sublime forms.

Blaugrana trailed for a good chunk of the match following John Guidetti's first-half opener for the away side, but Suarez rattled home an equalising goal in the 72nd minute and Lionel Messi added a majestic free-kick victor late on to seal a 2-1 win.

DF Lucas Digne, 6 - Making his first La Liga start since October 21, Digne was hauled off in the early stages of the second half. "They made it hard by taking the lead. We still had chances but overall we lacked a bit of pace so in the second half we brought in Carrasco and he gave us the space we were looking for and we were able to make the most of the team's collective efforts".

Barcelona have eight games in February - including a Copa del Rey semi-final against Valencia and a Champions League meeting with Chelsea - so will be thankful that the referee didn't spot Suarez's moment of madness.

Messi, as he so often does, then took centre-stage - curling home a flawless 84th-minute free-kick which Pacheco could not get near as Barcelona re-established their 11-point lead over Atletico Madrid.

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Leganes kept up their momentum after a shock 2-1 win at Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey by defeating Espanyol 3-2 at home.

"The first half was not very good, but the coach gave us a good talking to at halftime 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. "He did very well trying to drive in the game and the team are happy with his contribution", the goal scorer added.

GK Marc-Andre ter Stegen, 6 - Not at fault for the goal, with Guidetti's slip wrong-footing him and the ball finding the back of the net.

Leganes missed out on moving into the top-half of the table as Getafe scored a stoppage-time equaliser at Sevilla later in the evening.