BARCELONA – FC Barcelona staged a late comeback, led by Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, against a troublesome Alaves, ultimately defeating its combative rival 2-1 and maintaining its season-long undefeated streak.
Alaves was the last Spanish First Division visiting squad to win at Camp Nou back on Sept. 10, 2016, and fought hard the entire match, with John Guidetti putting the visitors on the board first in the 23rd minute.
The score stayed at 0-1 – with the away squad taking advantage of each error committed by a seemingly disorganized Barcelona – until the 72nd minute, when Suarez managed to sink one for Barça, the eighth consecutive match in which he has scored.
It was Messi who delivered the final blow with a fabulous free kick in the 84th minute.
Phil Coutinho, in the starting lineup for Ernesto Valverde’s Catalan squad for the first time, was key on the attack, especially early on.
Messi now has 20 goals so far this season, with Suarez close behind in the No. 2 slot with 16.
Barcelona remains unbeaten after the 21st week of La Liga action and 11 points out front of its closest rival.
Before the match, Suarez was recognized as the best La Liga player for December.