Lionel Messi scored a late free-kick as Barcelona staged a second-half comeback to defeat Alaves 2-1 on Sunday night.

Barca controlled the ball from the first minute but found Alaves’ defence solid, and were made to wait until the 15th minute to make their first effort on target.

John Guidetti gave the visitors a shock first-half lead following a fine counter-attacking move in the 23rd minute. Ruben Sobrino had a chance to double the advantage a few moments later, but his shot was tipped over the bar by Ter Stegen.

Luis Suarez scored the equaliser from Andres Iniesta’s cross on the 72nd-minute mark before Messi wrapped up the win when his free-kick was pushed into the roof of the net by the diving goalkeeper with six minutes to play.

The win restores Barca’s 11-point lead at the top of La Liga, while Alaves remain a place outside the bottom three.

Meanwhile, Philippe Coutinho made a full debut at the Nou Camp but was substituted midway through the second half.

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