Barcelona v Alaves preview: Ernesto Valverde warns Barca to respect revitalised Alaves

Barcelona reveal Philippe Coutinho's shirt number

Messi whipped home a attractive free-kick six minutes from the end to down resilient Alaves, who are just two points from the drop zone in 17th despite John Guidetti silencing the Camp Nou with a shock breakaway opener in the 23rd minute.

Lionel Messi scored a superb free-kick to save Barcelona's unbeaten league record, beating Alaves 2-1 on Sunday evening.

The Blaugrana grew to dominate the match though, with Luis Suarez and Paulinho coming close to scoring on a number of occasions as the hosts pushed for an equaliser. Lionel Messi is one of the best in the world at set-pieces and took the free kick, curling a ideal shot into the corner to put Barça in the clear for the win.

With Philippe Coutinho making his La Liga debut at the Camp Nou, Alaves took a surprise lead when Barcelona were caught by a quick counter-attack with the former Manchester City forward, John Guidetti, racing clear to fire past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Luis Suarez had broken the away side's tough resistance with a sweet volley from Andres Iniesta's cross 18 minutes from the end, setting the stage for Messi's dramatic and stylish victor.

Insane reaction from Suarez considering Barcelona had just gone in front.

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Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde's final change saw Coutinho come off after a disappointing full debut moments before Suarez was kept out by Pacheco following a superb Messi pass.

Abelardo Fernandez's team were not content with sitting back inside their own penalty area and defending, even when they gained the lead.

Messi is said to have urged Valverde to replace Nelson Semedo and Lucas Digne with Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba.

A mere twelve minutes after Luis Suarez scored the equalizer, Barcelona received a free kick at the edge of the box. They never panicked when going one goal down, remained composed and let their quality come to the fore as they overturned the early deficit.

Suarez, 31, was in bad form earlier this season but has now scored 11 goals in his last eight league outings for Barcelona.

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