Barcelona came from behind to record a 2-1 win over Alaves in Sunday night’s entertaining La Liga clash at Camp Nou.
Alaves took a shock 23rd-minute lead through John Guidetti, but Luis Suarez equalised in the 72nd minute before Lionel Messi came up with a winner for the league leaders six minutes from time.
The victory has seen Barcelona re-open an 11-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid at the top of the table, while Alaves remain down in 17th position.
Philippe Coutinho made his long-awaited La Liga debut for Barcelona, with the Brazilian selected alongside Suarez and Messi in the final third of the field.
As for Alaves, on-loan forward Munir El-Haddadi started on the bench against his parent club, with former Manchester City forward Guidetti tasked with leading the line.
Barcelona were having all of the ball, but Alaves were a threat on the counter, and Marc-Andre ter Stegen had to be alert to keep out Ibai Gomez in the 16th minute following a break from the visitors.
Alaves did take the lead in the 23rd minute, however, when yet another fast break ended with Guidetti finding the back of the net. Ter Stegen left a lot of space at his near post, and the on-loan Celta Vigo striker converted to shock Camp Nou.
Ruben Sobrino almost doubled Alaves’ advantage in the 27th minute with a clever effort from inside the Barcelona box, but Ter Stegen was on hand to make a smart save.
Andres Iniesta curled one over the Alaves crossbar just before the half-hour mark as Barcelona looked to hit back, but Alaves continued to threaten down the other end – Sobrino bringing another save from Ter Stegen.
Fernando Pacheco made a smart save to keep out a Messi free kick in the 35th minute, before the same two players locked horns from another set piece late in the first period, and the second stop from the Alaves goalkeeper was even better.
Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde changed both of his full-backs early in the second period, with Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba taking the places of Digne and Nelson Semedo.
The home side’s final ball continued to disappoint, however, and Alaves still led 1-0 approaching the final 30 minutes of action inside a shocked Camp Nou.
Alaves almost took a two-goal lead in the 62nd minute when Gomez found Ruben Duarte inside the Barcelona box, but the full-back saw his goal-bound effort blocked over by Gerard Pique.
Coutinho’s full debut ended in the 66th minute when Paco Alcacer entered the field, and moments later Barcelona had a wonderful chance to level; the opportunity fell for Suarez inside the Alaves box, but Pacheco made a smart stop.
Pacheco then denied Paulinho from close range after Pique’s flick had set up an excellent chance for the Brazilian.
Barcelona finally levelled the scores in the 72nd minute when Suarez turned an Iniesta cross into the back of the net during a period were Alaves were wobbling.
Suarez fired over the away side’s crossbar in the 77th minute, but Barcelona had their second in the 84th minute when Messi curled a wonderful free kick into the top corner of the net.
Messi had the chance to double his tally in the final moments after breaking into the Alaves box, but Pacheco made another smart save as just one goal separated the two teams on the night.