Luis Suarez nets first La Liga goal as Barcelona cruises past Cordoba
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Luis Suarez's long wait for a goal in the Spanish league finally ended when he added to Lionel Messi's brace to give Barcelona a 5-0 win over Cordoba on Saturday.
After putting Barcelona ahead two minutes in at Camp Nou, Pedro Rodriguez passed in the 53rd for Suarez to net his first goal in eight league matches following his four-month biting ban. Suarez had scored twice in the Champions League.
Gerard Pique headed in Barcelona's third in the 80th before Messi struck his team-leading 14th and 15th league goals of the season.
Barcelona pulled to within one point of Real Madrid, which won't play its game against Sevilla from this round until Feb. 4 because it was playing the final of the Club World Cup in Morocco late Saturday.
Cordoba offered little resistance as the strugglers remained in 19th place of the 20-team topflight. Elche can push Cordoba to the foot of the standings with a win at home over Malaga on Sunday.
Pedro's early goal when he used one touch of his right boot to control Ivan Rakitic's lobbed throughball before a second flick put the ball past goalkeeper Juan Carlos Martin eliminated any mystery regarding the outcome of the match.
The home crowd didn't come alive until Suarez poked Pedro's pass under Martin.
Pique headed in Xavi Hernandez's free kick and, two minutes later, Messi was kept in check until a poorly defended corner kick fell for him to fire in. He followed that with a more artful goal in stoppage time when he spun and slotted the ball just inside the post.
Those were Messi's 22nd and 23rd goals through 22 games in all competitions.
Later, Valencia visited Eibar, Real Sociedad played at Levante, and Rayo Vallecano hosted Espanyol.
Also on Sunday, it's: Villarreal vs. Deportivo La Coruna, Granada vs. Getafe, and Athletic Bilbao vs. Atletico Madrid.
Almeria won 1-0 at Celta Vigo on Friday.