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Suarez and Neymar strike again in narrow Barca win

Football Soccer - Las Palmas v Barcelona Spanish Liga BBVA - Gran Canaria stadium, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria - 20/02/16 Barcelona's Neymar celebrates with team mates Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi after scoring a goal. REUTERS/Juan Medina
Football Soccer - Las Palmas v Barcelona Spanish Liga BBVA - Gran Canaria stadium, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria - 20/02/16 Barcelona's Neymar celebrates with team mates Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi after scoring a goal. REUTERS/Juan Medina

MADRID (Reuters) - Goals from the prolific duo of Luis Suarez and Neymar earned Barcelona a tight 2-1 win at Las Palmas on Saturday to propel them nine points clear at the top of La Liga.

The league's leading marksman Suarez opened the scoring after six minutes, meeting Jordi Alba's cross at the far post to net his 12th goal in seven matches in all competitions and take his Liga tally to 25.

Las Palmas equalised four minutes later when striker Willian Jose beat the offside trap to latch on to Jonathan Viera's brilliant backheeled pass and steer the ball past Claudio Bravo.

Neymar restored Barca's lead in the 39th minute when Lionel Messi's shot was parried by goalkeeper Javi Varas and the Brazilian netted the rebound.

Suarez, after scoring his 41st goal of the season in all competitions, had a good chance to increase Barca's lead early in the second half but Varas made a brilliant stop.

Las Palmas almost equalised on the hour when Bravo saved a shot from Viera and Willian Jose put the rebound into the side netting.

Barcelona gradually took more control in the second half after a very even first 45 minutes but still suffered from the home side's counter-attacks.

Substitute Sergio Araujo, a former Barcelona B player and Argentina junior international, squandered three chances for Las Palmas near the end.

Atletico Madrid can close the gap on the runaway leaders to six points if they beat Villarreal on Sunday and third-placed Real Madrid can move to within seven points of Barcelona with a win at Malaga.

(Writing by Rex Gowar, editing by Ian Chadband)

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