Barcelona v Alaves – Story of the match
An analysis of Barca’s 2-1 win over Alaves.
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.
Guidetti slipped as he took his shot, which deflected off his standing foot to beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen and stun the Nou Camp.
Tweet of the Match
Man of the Match – Fernando Pacheco
The Alaves goalkeeper did not deserve to be on the losing side after a string of top-quality saves kept the visitors ahead for much of the contest.
Pacheco saved brilliantly from Ivan Rakitic and Messi and also did well to keep out a Suarez strike before the turnaround.
Moment of the Match
Messi’s free-kick was inch-perfect and came at just the right time to secure a barely-deserved win for the LaLiga leaders.
By his standards, the Argentina international had struggled to make an impact on proceedings but weighed in with the winning goal to once again show his brilliance.
Luis Suarez has now scored in his last eight LaLiga matches and has notched an impressive 13 goals in his last 10 games.
Barcelona: Marc-Andre ter Stegen 7 (out of 10), Nelson Semedo 6, Gerard Pique 6, Samuel Umtiti 6, Lucas Digne 5, Paulinho 6, Ivan Rakitic 6, Andres Iniesta 7, Philippe Coutinho 5, Lionel Messi 7, Luis Suarez 7. Subs: Jordi Alba (for Digne, 52) 6, Sergi Roberto (for Semedo, 52) 6, Paco Alcacer (for Coutinho, 65) 6.
Alaves: Fernando Pacheco 8, Alexis 7, Victor Laguardia 7, Guillermo Maripan 6, Ruben Duarte 7, Ibai 7, Alvaro Medran 7, Mubarek Wakaso 6, Hernan Perez 7, John Guidetti 7, Ruben Sobrino 6. Subs: Alfonso Pedraza (for Perez, 62) 6, El Haddadi Munir (for Guidetti, 75) 6, Ermedin Demirovic (for Duarte, 89) 5.
Who’s up next?
Barcelona v Valencia (Copa del Rey, February 1)
Alaves v Celta Vigo (LaLiga, February 3)