With two more goals, Suarez keeps Barca win­ning with­out Messi

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

LUIS Suarez is mak­ing sure Barcelona keeps on win­ning with­out the in­jured Lionel Messi. Suarez came to the res­cue of Barcelona on Satur­day with a two-goal per­for­mance that in­cluded a 90th-minute win­ner to cap a 3-2 come­back at Rayo Val­le­cano.

Suarez’s dou­ble gives him six goals for Barcelona since Messi went down with a bro­ken right fore­arm on Oct. 20. He leads the Span­ish league with nine goals in 11 rounds.

“The game was very dif­fi­cult for us, but we knew how to turn it around,” Suarez said. “You can lose leagues at grounds like this one.” Barcelona in­creased its league lead to four points over Al­tetico Madrid, which drew at Le­ganes 1-1, and Alaves. Alaves vis­its Eibar on Sun­day. Madrid re­mained seven points be­hind in sixth place af­ter beat­ing Val­ladolid 2-0 for its first win in six rounds in the home de­but of in­terim coach San­ti­ago So­lari.

BARCA FIGHT­BACK

Suarez opened the scor­ing at Val­le­cas Sta­dium when he tapped in a pass from Jordi Alba, who was played clear by a long ball from Ivan Rakitic.

But the hosts swung the match in their fa­vor when Jose Pozo scored from out­side the area and sub­sti­tute Al­varo Garcia put in a ball that came off the up­right. Rayo was win­ning un­til the 87th when sub­sti­tute Ous­mane Dem­bele drilled in a headed back pass by de­fender Ger­ard Pique. Suarez then scored his sec­ond goal to com­plete the fight­back when he was left un­marked to stab in Sergi Roberto’s cross at the far post.

VINI­CIUS SAVES SO­LARI

For a sec­ond straight game un­der So­lari, Madrid has turned to an 18-yearold new­comer to get a much-needed vic­tory. Min­utes af­ter re­plac­ing Marco Asen­sio, Vini­cius Ju­nio showed more verve than his fel­low for­ward by dart­ing past a de­fender and un­leash­ing a pow­er­ful shot. His strike de­flected in off Val­ladolid de­fender Kiko Oli­vas. The league cred­ited Vini­cius with the 83rd-minute goal.

“When I re­ceived the ball, I was think­ing about scor­ing. I counted ‘one, two, three’ and then struck it hard,” Vini­cius said.

Ser­gio Ramos added an­other goal from the penalty spot with two min­utes re­main­ing af­ter Karim Ben­zema was fouled by Fer­nando Calero.

So­lari gave Vini­cius his first start for Madrid on Wednes­day, and the Brazil for­ward re­sponded by set­ting up two goals to beat Melilla in the Copa del Rey. Vini­cius played 12 min­utes un­der So­lari’s pre­de­ces­sor, Julen Lopetegui, since he joined the club this sum­mer from Fla­mengo.

While some of Madrid’s play­ers were jeered by the home fans for the team’s re­cent form, Vini­cius re­ceived ap­plause when he went on in the 73rd.

So­lari said he told Vini­cius to “take chances, to have a go at the de­fense.”

Photo: AP

FC Barcelona’s Luis Suarez cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing dur­ing the Span­ish La Liga soc­cer match be­tween Rayo Val­le­cano and FC Barcelona at the Val­le­cas sta­dium in Madrid, Spain on Satur­day.

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