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Suarez leads Barcelona 2-1 comeback at Almeria

India TV News Desk 08 Nov 2014, 23:31:41 PM IST
India TV News Desk

Barcelona, Spain: Luis Suarez set up two late goals to lead Barcelona's 2-1 comeback victory at Almeria in the Spanish league on Saturday.

With Barcelona facing a third straight loss in the competition, Suarez went on at halftime and orchestrated the visitors' fight back.

The Uruguay forward used a burst of speed to shed his marker before crossing for fellow substitute Neymar to equalize in the 73rd minute. He then picked out Jordi Alba to grab the winner in the 82nd.

Almeria forward Bifouma Thievy had put the hosts ahead in the 22nd on a counterattack after Lionel Messi lost the ball.

Barcelona took the provisional league lead, one point ahead of Real Madrid before it hosts Rayo Vallecano later Saturday. Valencia and Atletico Madrid can also overtake Barcelona with wins on Sunday.

It was another frustrating La Liga match for Messi, coming three days after he scored twice to equal Raul Gonzalez's 71-goal record in the Champions League.

Messi twice hit the crossbar, bringing to four the number of times he's struck the woodwork in the last two league games as he also seeks to become La Liga's all-time goal scorer. Messi has 250 league goals, one shy of Telmo Zarra's record, which has stood untouched for nearly 60 years.

The Argentina forward had another chance in injury time Saturday to match Zarra's record, but he couldn't beat goalkeeper Ruben Martinez one-on-one.

Suarez remained scoreless as well in a fourth game since returning from his four-month biting ban, but the former Liverpool star demonstrated his worth as a complete attacking player with two assists to save his team and coach Luis Enrique from what would have been a costly defeat.

Luis Enrique rotated his lineup from Wednesday's 2-0 win at Ajax, with Suarez, Neymar, Xavi Hernandez and Dani Alves all falling from his starting 11.

With Andres Iniesta also out injured, Barcelona failed to establish an attacking rhythm.

Almeria pestered Barcelona early with three corners, while Messi was denied by Martinez in the ninth before he headed the ball off the crossbar in the 28th after Martinez had saved Ivan Rakitic's header.

Messi's insistence to break down Almeria's defense led to the hosts striking on the break.

A ball lost by Messi sparked a counterattack culminated by Jose "Verza" Garcia's throughball to meet Thievy's run, and the former Espanyol forward did the rest by speeding away from Marc Bartra before slotting the ball inside the post.

Luis Enrique wasted no time sending on Neymar and Suarez at halftime, but Barcelona didn't start clicking until Xavi also followed in the 66th.

Suarez took over then with two excellent passes for Neymar and Alba.

Neymar turned Suarez's low pass off a defender and into the net for his team-high 10th league goal of the season.

Suarez next spotted Alba running free at the far post, and the left back hit Suarez's gentle cross off the turf and over the prone Martinez.

Almeria stayed in 14th place and is winless in six games at the Juegos Mediterraneos Stadium this campaign.