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Alaves boss Aberlardo Fernandez feels hard done by in Barca defeat

A late Lionel Messi free-kick saw Barcelona come from behind to maintain their unbeaten run.

Alaves coach Abelardo Fernandez bemoaned his side’s luck with referees as they lost to a late Lionel Messi free-kick at the Nou Camp on Sunday.

Messi’s strike completed a turnaround after Luis Suarez had cancelled out John Guidetti’s surprise opener for the visitors in a match that saw Philippe Coutinho make his full Barcelona debut.

The 2-1 win keeps Barca 11 points clear at the top of LaLiga but Alaves felt they should have had a late penalty for a Samuel Umtiti handball.

Alaves’ players were visibly upset at the full-time whistle and Fernandez felt it was an unfortunate moment in the game for the visitors.

According to AS, he said: “I did not see the pass. But they tell me it was a penalty. We are not having any luck with referees, who are human, they can be wrong, but we lack fortune in that aspect.

“We played an outstanding game, we did everything we had prepared, but their individual quality is tremendous.

“The plan was to maintain the system, steal and break the pressure line to get out of space.

“We had a counter with Ibai (Gomez) to make it 2-0, but you must be very successful and have a very high percentage of effectiveness to get something from the Nou Camp.”

Barcelona were not at their fluent best but still managed to find a way to win, maintaining Ernesto Valverde’s unbeaten record in LaLiga since his summer appointment.

The former Athletic Bilbao boss had a different opinion of the late penalty incident.

“I have seen it and I think the hand is (there) involuntary,” he said.

“I have seen that they have protested a lot but I don’t know…I have not asked Umtiti. Unless he had his hand cut off, he could do nothing. Everyone sees it from the point of view of their team.

“It was a complicated game, we started well but we were uphill at 1-0 down. They have played a great game but we continued pushing we got what we wanted.”

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