Luis Suárez was a goal-shy assist machine in his first months with Barcelona. This spring, he’s returned to his normal goal-sniping self, a turn Valencia experienced 55 seconds into its Saturday trip to the Camp Nou.
With a quick sequence that started at the edge of its 18-yard box, Barcelona cut through the visitors’ defense before a “1” hit the minutes column, working from defender Gerard Piqué and deep midfielder Sergio Busquets toward its world-beating attacking trio. The speed of the movement took advantage of Valencia’s intent pressing, leaving Suárez, Lionel Messi and Neymar surging at three unorganized Valencia defenders.
When two followed the ball to Messi’s feet, Suárez was left open in the right of the box. His easy finish past a sliding Diego Alves gave Barcelona’s its early lead.
Don’t feel too sorry for Valencia, though. Nine minutes later, Piqué went through the back of Rodrigo’s left leg in the penalty area, giving Daniel Parejo a chance to equalize from the spot. Alas, his try into the left of goal gave Claudio Bravo an easy save, keeping it 1-0, Barcelona, even if much of the first 15 minutes were played in front of Bravo’s goal.