Barcelona shake off fatigue to go nine points clear in La Liga

Madrid, Jumada I 11, 1437, Feb 20, 2016, SPA — Barcelona stretched their lead atop the Spanish Liga to nine points Saturday with a tight 2-1 win at lowly Las Palmas, on goals from Luis Suarez and Neymar, dpa reported.
It was Barca’s eighth straight league win – though by no means their most extravagant – and their 32nd game unbeaten.
They have picked up nine points in the last seven days and are now nine above an Atletico Madrid side that will host fourth-placed Villarreal Sunday.
Third-placed Real Madrid, who visit Malaga Sunday, are 10 points behind Barca.
“If you want to win trophies then you have to suffer sometimes, and we certainly did today,” Suarez said.
“The important thing is that we have won again. This is the kind of difficult win that leads to league titles.”
Suarez has scored 12 goals in seven games, and is top of the Liga scoring chart with 25. He denied that Barca were suffering from fatigue because of a punishing schedule.
“It’s true that we have been playing a lot of matches recently. But what all we players want is to play as much as possible.”
The Uruguayan hit-man gave Barca the lead in the sixth minute by turning in a centre from left-back Jordi Alba, only for Willian Jose to quickly level for the hosts after being played through by the lively Jonathan Viera.
Neymar restored Barca’s lead with a close-range drive six minutes before half-time after good work down the right by the outstanding Suarez.
Barca looked tired in the second half and created few chances. At the other end, defiant Las Palmas – who are now third bottom – came close to equalizing on several occasions.
“It is not easy to play every three or four days,” Barca coach Luis Enrique said.
— SPA
22:10 LOCAL TIME 19:10 GMT