Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez struck late to rally FC Barcelona a 2-1 win over Alaves while keeping the Catalans 11 points clear at the top of La Liga and preserving their unbeaten record in the league.
Alaves, who had 2 wins and a draw in their last 3 Liga games were the only team to win at the Camp Nou in the league last season.
Indeed, they looked set for the same upset against the Catalan team again when the Sweden striker John Guidetti gave them a shock lead in the 23rd minute, falling over as he lashed the ball past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Messi then had a free-kick hit the bar while Paulinho had another chance hooked off the line and Coutinho, a £142m signing from Liverpool, had a shot deflected wide.
Even as wave after wave of attacks from Barca came and a handful of impressive saves from the visiting goalkeeper, Fernando Pacheco was neede, Alaves were lively throughout and could have added a second goal soon after going ahead, Ruben Sobrino seeing a chance clawed away, while Ruben Duarte was denied by Gerard Pique’s block.
It was long after half-time that Luis Suarez finally levelled for Barca in the 72nd minute as the Uruguayan striker scored for the eighth league game in a row.
The equaliser already maintained Barcelona’s status as the only unbeaten team in Europe’s top five leagues before Messi then gave them a seventh consecutive Liga win by curling a spectacular free-kick beyond the reach of the former Pacheco in the 84th minute.
The result meant that Barcelona top the standings with 57 points, 11 ahead of their nearest challengers, Atletico Madrid, and 19 ahead of the champions, Real Madrid.
Atletico team had to overcome the absence of their injured striker Diego Costa to beat Las Palmas 3-0 while Sevilla were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Getafe after a controversial equaliser in injury time.