Tag: Luis Suarez

Champions League: Man City 1-2 Barcelona

Luis Suarez marked his first return to England since a £75m summer move to Barcelona with two goals that leave Manchester City on the brink of a Champions League exit.

The former Liverpool striker demonstrated the quality the Premier League has been missing – and which defenders have been spared – with two strikes in the opening half-hour to put Barcelona in command of this last-16 first-leg tie.

City improved after the break and were rewarded with Sergio Aguero’s strike but their growing momentum was halted when Gael Clichy was sent off for a second yellow card.

And even though they still face a mountainous task at the Nou Camp in the second leg on 18 March – they need to score at least twice to have a chance of progressing – they were spared an even tougher job after keeper Joe Hart saved Lionel Messi’s penalty from virtually the final kick of the game.

Uruguay international Suarez preyed on the uncertainty of City captain Vincent Kompany throughout and with Messi the orchestrator, Luis Enrique’s side tormented the Premier League champions in the first half.

Suarez ended this summer’s World Cup in Brazil in disgrace after bitingItaly’s Giorgio Chiellini but it was not enough to dissuade Barcelona fromtaking him from Liverpool to La Liga and this was an illustration of exactly why, the movement and menace a familiar sight to those who had watched him terrorise opponents in the Premier League.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini will take some heart from the manner in which they created chances in the second half but in reality Barcelona are now overwhelming favourites to progress as they took advantage of the timidity of an opposition, without suspended midfield talisman Yaya Toure, who showed them far too much respect in the first 45 minutes.

Aguero’s goal and Hart’s save offer a lifeline but it is flimsy at best and City will need to produce a special performance in Catalonia to reach the quarter-finals.

Suarez, so often cast in the role of the Premier League’s villain during his time at Anfield, was jeered when his name was read out before kick-off – but he soon turned the taunts back on his tormentors as Barcelona produced an imperious first half display.

He had already threatened before he put Barcelona ahead after 13 minutes, reacting quickly to fire a low, angled finish past Hart after Messi’s cross had rebounded off Kompany.

City’s lame approach was in contrast to Pellegrini’s claim that they would attack Barcelona and they were lucky not to fall further behind when a brilliant pass from Messi released Suarez in behind Kompany but Hart rescued City with a crucial block at the striker’s feet.

Barcelona only ever seemed a moment away from another goal – and so it proved when Suarez pounced for his second on the half-hour, showing great instincts to turn Jordi Alba’s cross at the near post.

Dani Alves sent a glancing effort off the bar before an agonising first half drew to a close for City and supporters who had suffered in silence for long periods as Barcelona went through their party pieces.

City, as they had to do, showed some attacking ambition after the restart and should have pulled a goal back when the unmarked Edin Dzeko headed straight at keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen from only six yards out.

Aguero, so industrious despite barely having any service worthy of the name, was then only inches off target as City finally looked capable of posing Barcelona problems.

The goal City had threatened finally arrived with 21 minutes remaining, Aguero taking an inventive David Silva backheel in his stride before beating Ter Stegen.

Suddenly there was hope for City, although some of that was extinguished as Clichy was sent off four minutes later after receiving a second yellow card for a mistimed challenge on Alves.

Messi had the chance to heap further punishment on City when he was fouled in the area by Pablo Zabaleta in the closing moments but Hart blocked his spot-kick and the Argentine headed wide of an open goal.

Read more at BBC Sport

Champions League: Apoel Nicosia 0-4 Barcelona

Lionel Messi became the record Champions League goalscorer and Luis Suarez opened his account for Barcelona as the Catalan giants cruised to a 4-0 win over Apoel Nicosia.

Suarez put Barca ahead with his first goal for the club since his £64million summer move from Liverpool before Messi took centre-stage with a hat-trick – all with his less-favoured right foot.

The first of those saw him break former Real Madrid striker Raul’s tally of 71 to make the Argentina superstar the leading scorer in the competition’s history.

It was the second notable scoring record that Messi had broken in the space of three days, with the 27-year-old having also become the all-time leading Primera Division marksman at the weekend with his hat-trick against Sevilla.

That treble moved Messi onto 253 La Liga goals and broke Telmo Zarra’s 59-year-old mark of 251.

As well as being a memorable night for Messi and Suarez, the victory keeps Barcelona in with a chance of pipping Paris St Germain to top spot in Group F.

Both teams had already qualified for the last 16 but PSG stayed a point clear of Barca with their win over Ajax.

Messi moved level with Raul’s European record with a brace in Barca’s previous match at Ajax, and he could have broken it inside three minutes on Tuesday only to see APOEL goalkeeper Rafael Urko do well to block his effort.

Messi was running the show early on and he set up good chances for Suarez and Jordi Alba, neither of which were taken.

It was Suarez who made the breakthrough, though, and in the process get on the scoresheet for the first time in Barcelona colours.

The Uruguay international created the chance with a superb bit of skill to turn his marker on the edge of the box and he beat Urko with a side-footed finish, albeit with the aid of a deflection.

That was in the 27th minute, and 11 minutes later Messi made it 2-0 and secured himself yet another spot in the history books when he stuck out his right foot to deflect Rafinha’s shot into the net.

Dominant Barca picked up where they left off after the break and Pedro Rodriguez almost made it 3-0 with a low drive in the 51st minute.

A third goal was not much longer in arriving, however, with Messi moving onto 73 Champions League goals in 91 games when he picked up Dani Avles’ pinpoint pass into the area and dinked a shot in off the far post.

Further Barca goals looked on the cards, but it was actually APOEL who came closest to netting next with a Tomas De Vincenti effort that produced a superb one-handed save by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The home side then received a further boost when Barca forward Rafinha was shown a second yellow card with 20 minutes to go, but the dismissal did little to change the flow of the game with Luis Enrique’s visitors still looking to attack.

Suarez was denied his second by the feet of Urko before APOEL lost their numerical advantage when Joao Guilherme picked up his second booking for a foul on Pedro in the 84th minute.

All that was left after that was for Messi to notch up yet another hat-trick, the Barca captain knocking home Pedro’s cut-back to cap a record-breaking evening for the Catalan outfit.

Read more at ESPN

Football: Luis Suarez loses appeal against four-month biting ban but clear to train

Luis Su¡rez has been cleared to make his debut for Barcelona on Monday after being allowed to train with his new team-mates and play in friendlies.

Although the court of arbitration for sport (Cas) has upheld the striker’s ban and fine for biting the Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup, Su¡rez has won a victory of sorts after the punishment was softened.

The 27-year-old remains ineligible to play in competitive matches during the four-month ban period, and his nine-game international suspension stays in place, but he will participate in training on Friday.

Su¡rez, who has been forced to train alone in a hidden area of Catalonia, can also now, belatedly, be presented as a Barcelona player when the club take on Mexico’s Club Le³n in a pre-season friendly at Camp Nou.

“The sanctions imposed on the player by Fifa have been generally confirmed,” Cas said in a statement, meaning the earliest the striker can return for Barcelona in a competitive fixture is 26 October when, as fate would have it, the club face Real Madrid at the Bernab©u in the firstcl¡sico of the season.

“However, the four-month suspension will apply to official matches only and no longer to other football-related activities (such as training, promotional activities and administrative matters).”

Read More on The Guardian

Premiership : Luis Suarez: Liverpool & Barcelona Agree £75m Deal For Striker

Liverpool have agreed to sell striker Luis Suarez to Barcelona for a fee thought to be about £75m.

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The Uruguayan, 27, who is serving a four-month ban for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup, will sign a five-year deal.

Suarez, who scored 31 league goals last season, will travel to the Spanish club next week for a medical.

“Luis is a very special talent and I thank him for the role he has played,” said Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers.

Suarez – last season’s Premier League top scorer and winner of the PFA and Football Writers’ Player of the Year awards – signed for Liverpool from Ajax in 2011 for £22.7m, and had four years left on his contract.

The move to Barcelona takes Suarez closer to his wife Sofia’s family.

“I hope you can all understand why I have made this decision,” said the striker, who is banned from “all football-related activity” until the end of October as he serves his third suspension for biting an opponent.

“This club did all they could to get me to stay, but playing and living in Spain, where my wife’s family live, is a lifelong dream and ambition. I believe now the timing is right.”

Read More on BBC Sport

World Cup : Luis Suarez Appeal Against Bite Ban Rejected

Fifa has rejected Uruguay and Liverpool striker Luis Suarez’s appeal against a four-month ban from all football-related activities for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini.

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Suarez was also banned for nine international matches after the incident at the World Cup in Brazil.

The Uruguayan FA had described Fifa’s ruling as an “excessive decision” for which “there was not enough evidence”.

Suarez can now make a further appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Football’s global governing body also imposed a fine of 100,000 Swiss Francs (£65,000) on Suarez, who has apologised for his behaviour.

Under the terms of the suspension, Suarez cannot train with his club and is prohibited from entering the confines of any stadium, although players’ union Fifpro argue the details “lack clarity”.

Read More on BBC Sport