Suarez: Barcelona are still ahead of Real Madrid

The former Liverpool star made his long-awaited debut at the Bernabeu but was unable to prevent his new side from falling to a disappointing defeat

Luis Suarez says the fact Barcelona still lead Real Madrid by one point in La Liga is a positive after suffering a 3-1 Clasico defeat on his debut.

The Uruguay striker was handed a surprise start by coach Luis Enrique on his comeback from suspension and his afternoon started positively at the Bernabeu when he assisted Neymar’s fourth-minute opener.

However, goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe and Karim Benzema quickly turned the tables on the visitors and Suarez was eventually replaced by Pedro on 69 minutes.

“We need to think about this match but we are still one point ahead of Real Madrid and we have to go on,” the 27-year-old told reporters after the game.

“Due to the intensity of the match I knew I was not going to play the full 90 minutes.

“I had not spoken with the coach about how long I would play. I heard I would start during the tactical talk an hour and a half before the game.

“For these late few weeks I have trained every day thinking about this match and I felt ready to play. The coach took the decision and I was available. I felt good and I tried to do everything in my power to help my team.

“You always want to mark your debut with a win and the result was not good for us considering the occasion, but I gave my all.”

Midfielder Xavi was also picked in Luis Enrique’s starting XI and the veteran was frustrated to see Barcelona throw away a position of strength in the match.

“I think it was one half for each time – 45 minutes for Barca and 45 for Real Madrid,” he said.

“In the first half we could have scored to make it 2-0 – we were dominating. When you waste chances at the Bernabeu, you end up paying for it.

“We didn’t lose control at any time, they waited for us at the back and came at us very fast. They live off the counterattack and we couldn’t stop them.”

Barcelona will welcome Celta Vigo to Camp Nou next Saturday as they look to get their Liga title challenge back on track.

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