herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Luis Suarez hails 'most important goal of career' as second half strike sinks Real Madrid

Barcelona's Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid
Barcelona's Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid
Barcelona's Luis Suarez (L) waves to supporters at the end of their Spanish first division "Clasico" soccer match against Real Madrid at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, March 22, 2015

Luis Suarez hailed his second-half winner against Real Madrid as "the most important goal" of his Barcelona career.

With 55 minutes on the clock and the scoreline locked at 1-1 after Cristiano Ronaldo had cancelled out Jeremy Mathieu's opener, the Uruguayan trapped a long punt forward by Dani Alves and then arrowed the ball past Iker Casillas to restore Barca's lead at the Nou Camp.

Luis Enrique's side went on to dominate the remainder of the game and won 2-1, thus building a four-point advantage at the top of the Primera Division table.

The strike was Suarez's 14th in all competitions for Barcelona since he made his £75million move from Liverpool last summer.

And the 28-year-old had no doubt this was his most crucial goal for his new club, ranking it above the two he netted against Manchester City in the Champions League last month.

"This is the most important goal I've scored for Barca and it has an extra significance because of the rival we were playing against," Suarez told Barcelona's official television Channel.

Luis Suarez1.jpg
Barcelona's Luis Suarez (L) waves to supporters at the end of their Spanish first division "Clasico" soccer match against Real Madrid at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, March 22, 2015

"I just tried to take advantage of the space between defenders and be as fast as I could so I didn't give the centre-backs any time to recover. Luckily it went in.

"The dressing room is very happy, we knew this was a really important game if we wanted to stay top of the league and increase our advantage."

Barca coach Luis Enrique sang the striker's praises after the game, calling the goal "an action that only few players are capable of".

"We are very happy that he is a being decisive player for us and we are very happy with his attitude and what he brings to this team," he said.

"He brings a lot to the team he is not just a classic centre forward, he also links up with his team-mates. He's a player that marvellously compliments the squad we have, and that's why we signed him."

Madrid now have 10 weeks to catch up with Barcelona, who have won 19 of their 21 matches in 2015.

Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti lamented the fact his side failed to keep a "cool head" after the break, following their strong performance in the opening 45 minutes.

"We were playing very well until their second goal and from then on the game was very difficult for us," said the Italian in his post-match press conference.

"Before that we were doing well, we pressed well and were solid at the back. We lacked a cool head to turn the game around, we kept playing long balls and trying to execute difficult passages of play."

This is Ancelotti's third defeat in four league games against Barcelona and, if his side cannot bridge the four-point gap with the Catalans, he will have failed to win the Spanish league title in his first two seasons with Madrid.

However, the man who delivered Los Blancos their long awaited 10th European Cup last season dismissed the suggestion his side would now focus their attention on the Champions League, with a quarter-final tie against neighbours Atletico Madrid coming up next month.

He said: "The league is not over, they have the same points advantage that we had before but anything could happen.

"We're not going to give a priority to either competition, the priority for us is the league and the Champions League."

Promoted articles

Entertainment News