Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi maintain Barca’s La Liga lead

TIL Desk Sports/ Barcelona restored their lead at the top of La Liga to five points as Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi struck in the final 20 minutes to edge out 10-man Villarreal 2-0. Daniel Raba’s red card on the hour mark for a wild lunge on Sergio Busquets handed Barca the initiative.

And their pressure told when Suarez rounded off a fine team move before Messi blasted home a second to get the Catalans back to winning ways after successive draws with Valencia and Celta Vigo. “In the second half after the sending-off we had more chances to win the game,” Suarez told.

“They played a very good game tactically and we weren’t precise enough, but in the second half we came out with a different mentality to take the three points.” Valencia remain Barca’s closest challengers five points back, but Atletico Madrid also maintained their title charge with a 1-0 win at Real Betis to stay six points off the top.

Real Madrid are eight points behind in fourth and Barca will have the chance to go into El Clasico away at Real in two weeks’ time with an 11-point lead over their rivals.Barca host Deportivo la Coruna next weekend, whilst Madrid are in action at the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi.

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