Football

'My biggest goal for Barca'

SWIFT AND STRONG: Luis Suarez (right) getting the better of Real defender Pepe.

Luis Suarez lauded his El Clasico winner as his biggest goal since moving to Barcelona, as the Catalan giants moved four points clear of Real Madrid with a 2-1 win yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Suarez controlled Dani Alves' ball over the top and fired past Iker Casillas just before the hour mark to hand Barca a huge win.

"It is my most important goal for Barca so far. It has an extra meaning, given the opponents that it was against," said Suarez.

The former Liverpool star's strike came at a crucial juncture in the game, as Real looked the more likely to go ahead after Cristiano Ronaldo had cancelled out Jeremy Mathieu's early opener for Barca.

"I tried to take advantage of the space between the defenders as quickly as possible to not give them time to react. Luckily, it went in," added Suarez.

Barca boss Luis Enrique lauded the Uruguayan's quality and said that is why the club splashed out a club-record fee for the 28-year-old despite his chequered past.

"It is clear the goal is something very few players can do. That is why we signed him. We valued him because he is a player who makes the difference," said Enrique.

"Ever since he arrived, we have been very happy with his performances, his commitment and everything he does for the team."

A third defeat in four games was another huge blow for Real, who led the league by four points just three weeks ago.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti was consoled by his side's much-improved display in the first hour of the game compared to their wretched form in recent weeks.

However, he admitted his side wilted under the pressure of chasing an equaliser for the second time after the break.

"It was a mental problem, not a physical one. We started looking for more difficult passes and that is why the last half-hour didn't go like the first half," said the Italian.

"We are disappointed, but it is better to have better feeling in the way we played. We can have more confidence in the future games in the league and the Champions League."

Suarez admitted that Barca had played a dangerous game in the first half, but had far more control once he had fired them in front for a second time.

"We fell into the trap of playing an end-to-end game which they like and we weren't in control of the game like we normally are. We played very direct and Real are very good at pressing," he said.

"We didn't have the ball in the first half, but we wanted to do better in the second and that's how it went."

Suarez, though, insisted that Barca can't take their foot of the gas, having seen Real blow the same advantage in recent weeks.

"There is a long way to go and the league is very difficult," he said.

"We need to take advantage of the gap we have against very strong opponents in Real. Like in all leagues, you don't know what can happen if you relax a little."

And Ancelotti said his side wouldn't give up the chase in the remaining 10 games of the season.

"At the moment, the league isn't finished. Barca have an advantage, like we had before. In football, anything can happen," he insisted.

- AFP.


6 Luis Suarez’s matchwinner is his sixth goal in his last seven La Liga appearances.