Friday 16 November 2018

Barca snatch dramatic late victory to stay top

Late goal: Luis Suarez. Photo: AP
Late goal: Luis Suarez. Photo: AP

Jamie Holland

Late goals from Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez rescued the three points for Barcelona after they found themselves trailing Rayo Vallecano 2-1 heading into the final stages of their La Liga clash.

Having suggested prior to the game that victory against an in-form Vallecano would be every bit as difficult as last weekend's El Clasico, Ernesto Valverde's prediction was proven true.

"Our attitude was always the same, to go for it, and that's what gave us the win," Valverde said.

"We had many problems with our opponents and once they scored, they grew in confidence.

"The game was very difficult but the team knew how to turn the situation around. We have to be self-critical, but the important thing was to win the game."

Test

The win kept Barca top of the pile in Spain but they can expect another stern test in Milan tomorrow when they face Inter in the Champions League.

Real Madrid ended their streak of six La Liga games without a win under the tutelage of new manager Santiago Solari.

Like their title rivals, they also left it late, with a Kiko Olivas' own goal and a Sergio Ramos penalty getting them over the line in the last 10 minutes.

Italian leaders Juventus had another routine home victory, 3-1 against Cagliari, as they prepare to welcome Manchester United to Turin on Wednesday.

They have dropped just two points in Serie A all year added to a 100pc record in the Champions League.

Napoli and Inter are leading the chasing pack, both sides hit five at the weekend, past Empoli and Genoa respectively.

In Germany, Bayern Munich faltered again this weekend, being held to a 1-1 draw at home by Freiburg.

They sit in third position; four points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund who enjoyed a 1-0 win over Wolfsburg on Saturday thanks to Marco Reus.

Borussia Monchengladbach separate the two thanks to a brace from Eden Hazard's younger brother, Thorgan, sending them on their way to a 3-0 victory over Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Irish Independent

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