Barca use second-half rally to beat Alaves, stay unbeaten in La Liga
Barcelona 2 - 1 Alaves

Barca use second-half rally to beat Alaves, stay unbeaten in La Liga

28/01/2018

Lionel Messi scored a stunning late free kick as Barcelona came from behind to beat Alaves and maintain their unbeaten start to LaLiga.

The visitors were defending well after John Guidetti's fortuitous opener had put them ahead but they could not hang on as Luis Suarez levelled before Messi curled home a set piece to secure an unconvincing 2-1 win.

As Barcelona's forwards failed to fire, Alaves threatened so often on the counter-attack and it was no surprise that their goal came from such a move in the 23rd minute.

Guidetti slipped as he took his shot, which deflected off his standing foot to beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen and stun the Nou Camp.

Barcelona's club-record signing Philippe Coutinho made his full debut since joining from Liverpool but he was ineffectual before being replaced.

Lucas Digne was handed a rare league start and the full-back had the game's first decent chance, dragging a low shot wide from the edge of the box.

The hosts were enjoying plenty of possession although Ibai should have done better with a rare opportunity to put Alaves ahead as they broke on the counter-attack.

The visitors would go one better soon after as another pacey counter ended with Guidetti scoring his first goal for the club since his loan move from Celta Vigo, slipping at the key moment but still managing to convert.

Ter Stegen had to be at his best moments later to prevent Barcelona falling even further behind as he dived to tip Ruben Sobrino's header away.

The forward was proving a handful for the Barca defence and he raced away on the half-hour mark only to finish with a tame effort straight at ter Stegen.

Coutinho was involved in almost every attack and he came close to equalising only for his strike from the edge of the box to deflect behind for a corner.

Alaves goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco was alive to push an Ivan Rakitic flick-header behind as the midfielder got on the end of a Messi free-kick.

Messi's next free-kick was a direct effort and Pacheco was again able to keep out his effort with a marvellous stop.

Valverde wasted little time after the interval to introduce full-backs Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba from the bench as the ineffectual pair of Digne and Nelson Semedo made way.

Barcelona's attacking talent just could not click and Alaves passed up another good chance to double their lead as Ruben Duarte saw his shot blocked following good work from Guidetti.

Valverde's final change saw Coutinho come off after a disappointing full debut moments before Suarez was kept out by Pacheco following a superb Messi pass.

Paulinho was the next to come close to an equaliser, latching onto a Gerard Pique flick to draw another stop out of the impressive Alaves goalkeeper.

But there was nothing he could do to keep out Suarez, who had been relatively quiet, as the Uruguay international turned home Andres Iniesta's cross at the back-post with 18 minutes remaining

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

Related news

Real Madrid hire Spain's Julen Lopetegui to take over as coach after World Cup

Real Madrid hire Spain's Julen Lopetegui to take over as coach after World Cup

Spain national team coach Julen Lopetegui will take over as Real Madrid manager after the World Cup, the Spanish club announced on Tuesday, just two days before the tournament begins in Russia.

Zinedine Zidane leaves Real Madrid after third Champions League title

Zinedine Zidane leaves Real Madrid after third Champions League title

Zinedine Zidane has shocked the football world by resigning as Real Madrid coach just days after winning a third consecutive Champions League with the La Liga giants.

Barcelona beat Real Sociedad in Andres Iniesta's final game with club

Barcelona beat Real Sociedad in Andres Iniesta's final game with club

Andres Iniesta's final Barcelona appearance ended in victory on an emotional evening at the Nou Camp.

Fernando Torres scores fairy-tale double in Atletico Madrid farewell

Fernando Torres scores fairy-tale double in Atletico Madrid farewell

Fernando Torres scored twice on his final appearance for 10-man Atletico Madrid in Sunday's 2-2 draw against Eibar.

Luca Zidane starts as Real Madrid blow two-goal lead in Villarreal draw

Luca Zidane starts as Real Madrid blow two-goal lead in Villarreal draw

Real Madrid blew a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Villarreal in their final La Liga match ahead of the Champions League final against Liverpool.

Barcelona's quest to finish La Liga season unbeaten ends in surprise loss

Barcelona's quest to finish La Liga season unbeaten ends in surprise loss

Barcelona's quest for an unbeaten La Liga season came to a shocking end with a 5-4 defeat away to Levante on Sunday.

Gareth Bale stays hot with brace as Real Madrid cruise

Gareth Bale stays hot with brace as Real Madrid cruise

Gareth Bale scored twice to lead Real Madrid to a 6-0 rout over Celta Vigo in La Liga on Saturday.

Atletico Madrid beat Getafe with Koke goal to cement second place

Atletico Madrid beat Getafe with Koke goal to cement second place

Atletico Madrid warmed up for the Europa League final by taking a big step towards securing second spot in LaLiga with a 1-0 success at Getafe.

Sevilla ease past Real Madrid with goals from Ben Yedder, Layun

Sevilla ease past Real Madrid with goals from Ben Yedder, Layun

Sevilla remain in the hunt for a Europa League spot as Joaquin Caparros secured his first win since taking temporary charge with a 3-2 win over Real Madrid at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan.

RELATED NEWS

Real Madrid hire Spain's Julen Lopetegui to take over as coach after World Cup
Real Madrid news

Real Madrid hire Spain's Julen Lopetegui to take over as coach after World Cup

Spain national team coach Julen Lopetegui will take over as Real Madrid manager after the World Cup, the Spanish club announced on Tuesday, just two days before the tournament begins in Russia.

Zinedine Zidane leaves Real Madrid after third Champions League title
Real Madrid news

Zinedine Zidane leaves Real Madrid after third Champions League title

Zinedine Zidane has shocked the football world by resigning as Real Madrid coach just days after winning a third consecutive Champions League with the La Liga giants.

Barcelona beat Real Sociedad in Andres Iniesta's final game with club
Barcelona 1 - 0 Real Sociedad

Barcelona beat Real Sociedad in Andres Iniesta's final game with club

Andres Iniesta's final Barcelona appearance ended in victory on an emotional evening at the Nou Camp.

Fernando Torres scores fairy-tale double in Atletico Madrid farewell
Atletico Madrid 2-2 Eibar

Fernando Torres scores fairy-tale double in Atletico Madrid farewell

Fernando Torres scored twice on his final appearance for 10-man Atletico Madrid in Sunday's 2-2 draw against Eibar.

Luca Zidane starts as Real Madrid blow two-goal lead in Villarreal draw
Villarreal 2 - 2 Real Madrid

Luca Zidane starts as Real Madrid blow two-goal lead in Villarreal draw

Real Madrid blew a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Villarreal in their final La Liga match ahead of the Champions League final against Liverpool.

Barcelona's quest to finish La Liga season unbeaten ends in surprise loss
Levante 5 - 4 Barcelona

Barcelona's quest to finish La Liga season unbeaten ends in surprise loss

Barcelona's quest for an unbeaten La Liga season came to a shocking end with a 5-4 defeat away to Levante on Sunday.

Gareth Bale stays hot with brace as Real Madrid cruise
Real Madrid 6 - 0 Celta Vigo

Gareth Bale stays hot with brace as Real Madrid cruise

Gareth Bale scored twice to lead Real Madrid to a 6-0 rout over Celta Vigo in La Liga on Saturday.

Atletico Madrid beat Getafe with Koke goal to cement second place
Getafe 0 - 1 Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid beat Getafe with Koke goal to cement second place

Atletico Madrid warmed up for the Europa League final by taking a big step towards securing second spot in LaLiga with a 1-0 success at Getafe.

Sevilla ease past Real Madrid with goals from Ben Yedder, Layun
Sevilla 3 - 2 Real Madrid

Sevilla ease past Real Madrid with goals from Ben Yedder, Layun

Sevilla remain in the hunt for a Europa League spot as Joaquin Caparros secured his first win since taking temporary charge with a 3-2 win over Real Madrid at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan.

DERBY OF THE WEEK
-
Derby of the week
20:45
10/08/2018
Derby of the week
W -    
   W -
The odds are correct at the time of publishing
- and are subject to change
Football Live Scores
Tennis Live Scores