Suarez ends drought to lead Barcelona to 3-0 win at Leganes

(AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

By TALES AZZONI

AP Sports Writer

MADRID (AP) Luis Suarez scored twice to end a five-match scoring drought and help Spanish league leader Barcelona beat Leganes 3-0 on Saturday.

Suarez found the net once in each half and substitute midfielder Paulinho scored late to give Barcelona its 11th win in 12 rounds.

The Catalan club opened a seven-point lead over Valencia and an 11-point advantage over Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, which meet later Saturday at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. Valencia plays at Espanyol on Sunday.

Barcelona struggled against mid-table Leganes in southern Madrid, but did enough to earn the three points.

Leganes, ninth in the standings, had its chances early but couldn't beat Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Suarez opened the scoring in the 28th after Leganes goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar dropped the ball in front of the goal after a cross by Paco Alcacer. Suarez's second in the 60th was a rebound shot after Cuellar parried a shot by Lionel Messi. Suarez hadn't scored in more than a month.

"What mattered to me was that I was feeling good and was helping the team, and today the goals helped us get the three points against a difficult rival," Suarez said. "We always try to play better, but it's not always possible."

Paulinho sealed the victory in the 90th after a pass by Messi, who was on the ground fighting for the ball when he tipped it back to the midfielder.

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique was shown a yellow card in the first half and will miss the match at second-place Valencia next weekend because of a suspension.

Barcelona also plays at Juventus on Wednesday in the group stage of the Champions League.

Leganes, playing only in its second season in the first division, wore a specially designed purple shirt to promote the fight against gender violence.

"We had our opportunities, but in the end we knew that we were playing against the best team in the world, and with very little they can score on you," Leganes midfielder Ruben Perez said.

Markel Bergara and Jorge Molina scored in the first 10 minutes to lead Getafe to a comfortable 4-1 win over Alaves at home.

Angel Rodriguez added two goals in the second half, while Alaves got on the board late with Christian Santos.

Getafe is unbeaten in four league games, but had lost 1-0 to Alaves in a first-leg match in the Round of 32 of the Copa del Rey last month.

It was the 10th league loss for Alaves, which remains in 18th place. Getafe is 10th.

"Our performance was embarrassing," Alaves coach Gianni De Biasi said. "They clearly deserved to win."

More AP Spanish soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/LaLiga

Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni

Updated November 18, 2017

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