Alaves furious over rejected penalty appeal at Barca

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All eyes were on the £142 million ($200.87 million) playmaker but he was substituted in the second half for striker Paco Alcacer as Barca chased the game after falling behind to John Guidetti's 23rd minute opener, eventually mounting a comeback with goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi.

Atletico Madrid's 3-0 win over Las Palmas earlier on Monday (NZDT) placed a modicum of pressure on Ernesto Valverde's runaway leader and it seemed to weigh upon them in a ragged first-half showing.

Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi both scored in the second half to ensure they didn't drop points at the top of the table.

Coutinho joined FC Barcelona after making a record switch from Liverpool at the start of January.

"He did well, he wanted the ball. He has important skills, the other day he played 20 minutes, today he played a little more, he's growing into the team little by little".

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Frenchman Griezmann started the move that led to Atletico's second, intercepting a loose pass and setting Angel Correa free to scamper down the pitch and feed Fernando Torres, who shifted the ball onto his right foot and lashed home just his second goal of the season, the 600th scored by Atletico in all competitions during Diego Simeone's seven-year reign as coach.

Suarez volleyed home after being teed up by Andres Iniesta for Barca's equaliser before Messi's brilliant set-piece near the end sealed the points.

With just six minutes left, Barcelona were awarded a free-kick and Messi stepped up to produce a spectacular effort that beat Pacheco to give the three points to Barcelona.

"I asked Umtiti and save cutting off his hand we don't think there's anything else he can do about it".

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.