Messi leads Barca fightback against courageous Alaves

Messi leads Barca fightback against courageous Alaves

Messi leads Barca fightback against courageous Alaves

Sweden striker John Guidetti gave Alaves a shock lead in the 23rd minute, falling over as he lashed the ball past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Suarez and Lionel Messi scored late goals to steal a win from Alaves.

Philippe Coutinho made his full debut for the Catalans, while Lucas Digne was handed a rare start in the league.

Barca top the standings with 57 points, 11 ahead of nearest challengers Atletico Madrid and 19 ahead of champions Real Madrid.

Coutinho joined FC Barcelona after making a record switch from Liverpool at the start of January. With Diego Costa out injured, Atletico took a while to get going and had to wait until the 61st minute to open the scoring, Antoine Griezmann latching on to Juanfran's fine ball down the right flank before dinking neatly over Las Palmas stopper Leandro Chichizola. This was another step forward: "more minutes after the 20 minutes the other night and more time with the team".

"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.

With just six minutes left, Barcelona were awarded a free-kick and Messi stepped up to produce a spectacular effort that beat Pacheco to give the three points to Barcelona.

Suarez volleyed home after being teed up by Andres Iniesta for Barca's equaliser before Messi's brilliant set-piece near the end sealed the points.

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

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