Tuesday 12 December 2017

Suarez brings up century in Barca comeback

FC Barcelona's Luis Suarez (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
FC Barcelona's Luis Suarez (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Luis Suaraez scored his 100th goal for Barcelona with a stunning early strike as they overturned a first-leg deficit to dump Athletic Bilbao out of the Copa Del Rey at the Nou Camp last night.

Trailing 2-1 from the first leg, the former Liverpool striker put Barca ahead on the night and level in the tie in the 35th minute when he back-pedalled away from a deep cross before drilling a superb volley into the corner.

Brazil star Neymar earned and converted a penalty three minutes into the second half to score his first goal since October and put Barca in front in the tie.

Athletic responded immediately though, substitute defender Gorka Elustondo crossing for Barcelona-born Enric Saborit to head home in the 51st minute. The goal emboldened the visitors for a 10-minute spell but Barca withstood the pressure and hit back through their talisman to secure qualification.

Messi had squandered two free-kicks in the first half but avoided the possibility of extra-time and penalties by curling a dead ball in off the post in the 79th, his second converted set-piece in four days.

In France, a brace of headers by Thiago Silva earned holders Paris Saint-Germain a routine 2-0 home win against Metz and a place in the French League Cup semi-finals.

The skipper found the back of the net in each half as PSG joined Girondins de Bordeaux, who beat En Avant Guingamp 3-2 earlier, in the last four.

PSG will travel to Bordeaux in the semi-finals on January 25.

Irish Independent

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