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4 November, 2018 10:04:33 AM
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Suarez pulls a Messi and rescues Barcelona

Independent Online Desk
Suarez pulls a Messi and rescues Barcelona
Luis Suarez scored a winner at the death to complete Barcelona's comeback on Saturday

Late scores from Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez earned Barcelona a comeback 3-2 victory over Rayo Vallecano on Saturday night at the Camp de Futbol de Vallecas in Madrid.

Suarez opened the scoring for the Catalonians early in the first half, but a very brave Rayo would not only fight back and draw level in the half through Jose Angel Pozo, but deservedly took the lead thanks an Alvaro Garcia goal in the second half.

Just when it looked like the 19th-place Vallecanos would pull off the upset, Dembele and Suarez would score just minutes from full-time to earn Barcelona the three points.

Similarly to Valladolid's valiant effort earlier in the day at the Bernabeu, it was a cruel fate for a Rayo side that went toe-to-toe with the league champions but were unable to close things out.

Barcelona manager pulled no punches in going with as full strength of a starting XI as possible, with Rafinha, Suarez and Philippe Coutinho the preferred trio up top.

Barcelona opened the scoring in classic Barcelona fashion, as Ivan Rakitic played a ball down the left wing to Jordi Alba, who danced right by the end-line before cutting back to Suarez and it was the easiest of sweeps into net for the Uruguayan to make it 0-1 to the visitors.

The hosts were still getting forward though and Pozo should have finished a counterattack after good work from Oscar Trejo and a slick cut-back pass from Raul de Tomas, but Pozo missed wide to the dismay of the Rayo faithful.Pozo would make up for his miss and sent Vallecas into pandemonium with a sweetly struck shot to make it 1-1.

A poor clearance from Clement Lenglet fell right to Pozo, who unfurled a curling right-footer that banked off the post and in to beat Barcelona stopper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.After a few wobbly moments, Barcelona looked to collect themselves and Suarez almost tallied his second of the night before the break, only to see his curling right-footed shot bang off the far post.Clearly not pleased with how his team was performing, Valverde made his first change early in the second stanza as Rafinha was hauled off for Dembele.

Things were very much on a knife's edge as the second half rolled on. Rayo were going at the reigning league champions and doing most of their damage in the space between Sergio Busquets and centre-backs Gerard Pique and Lenglet.

The home side's hard work would bear fruit again, as a surgical cross from the right from Embarba that was headed onto the post by former Real Madrid youngster Raul de Tomas was cleaned up by Alvaro Garcia who put Rayo up 2-1 with his first touch of the match after entering as a substitute.

Valverde played his last cards off the bench, with Arturo Vidal and Munir coming on for Arthur and Coutinho, respectively. But it was still Rayo having the better of play as Barcelona simply were not able to muster anything going forward.Predictably, it turned into a bend-but-don't-break approach from Rayo in the final 15 minutes in hopes of preventing a Barcelona equaliser.

The Catalonians finally started carving out some chances and would pull level 2-2 through Dembele. Pique posted up in the area like Pau Gasol and headed down a cross for the Frenchman to latch onto and hit just inside the far post for the equaliser.Barcelona were keen to sneak in a late winner and they would stun Vallecas when Sergi Roberto floated in a cross to the back post to Suarez, who stabbed home the 3-2 winner to give Barcelona three points that seemed unlikely for much of the night.

Match Sheet:2.- Rayo Vallecano: Alberto; Alex Moreno, Jordi Amat, Galvez (Emiliano, min. 71), Advincula; Comesana; Pozo, Trejo (Alvaro Garcia, min. 57), Imbula, Embarba; De Tomas (Alegria, min. 65)3.- Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Arthur (Vidal, min. 67); Rafinha (Dembele, min. 52), Suarez, Coutinho (Munir, min. 67).Goals: 0-1, min. 10: Suarez; 1-1, min. 36: Pozo; 2-1, min. 57: Alvaro Garcia; 2-2, min. 87: Dembele; 2-3, min. 90: SuarezReferee: Hernandez Hernandez (Canarias). Yellow Cards: Jordi Amat (Min. 6) for Rayo Vallecano, Lenglet (Min. 17) for Barcelona, De Tomas (Min. 49) for Rayo Vallecano, Jordi Alba (Min. 70) for Barcelona, Emiliano (Min. 89) for Rayo Vallecano.

Red cards: None.Marca.

HM

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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