Suarez nets winner as Barcelona top Real Mardid in ‘el clasico’
BARCELONA, Spain (AP):
Luis Suarez scored the winning goal to give Barcelona a 2-1 win over title rivals Real Madrid yesterday in a back-and-forth 'clasico' between the Spanish league's main title rivals.
Elsewhere, Sevilla beat Villarreal for the third time in 11 days to stay in striking distance of the top four teams with a 2-0 win.
Real Sociedad rallied for a 3-1 win over bottom-side Cordoba, while Deportivo La Coruna's winless run reached six games after drawing 0-0 at home with Espanyol.
Suarez broke free from Madrid's defence to restore Barcelona's lead in the 56th minute, ensuring Barcelona opened up a four-point gap over Madrid with another 10 rounds remaining to decide the league crown.
"That was my most important goal I have scored for Barcelona, and it has an extra significance considering the opponent," Suarez said.
perfect free kick
Lionel Messi curled in a perfect free kick for Jeremy Mathieu to head in Barcelona's opener in the 19th minute of a first-half otherwise dominated by Madrid.
Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, who had hit the woodwork before Barcelona's goal, levelled from Karim Benzema's superb backheel pass in the 31st - shortly after Neymar had missed a great chance to double the host's lead.
But after Suarez struck from Dani Alves' long ball, Messi and Neymar both went close to adding goals in a second-half dictated by the Catalan side.
"We played well for the first hour, but the last half-hour was terrible," Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said. "It is a blow. Barcelona has an advantage, but we won't give up."
While Ronaldo and Benzema outplayed their counterparts in the first-half, the hosts never looked back after Suarez scored his 14th and by far most important goal since joining Barcelona from Liverpool this summer.
Suarez put Barcelona back in front for good when he controlled Dani Alves' long pass to beat Madrid's offside trap with one touch and then slotted a precise strike beyond Casillas and inside the far post as he fell to his knees.
"Very few players can score a goal like he did, and that is why we signed him," Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said about Suarez. "He can decide games. He is a pure scorer who needs very little to finish. But he also combines well and understands his teammates."