Suarez double keeps Barca level with Madrid

Luis Suarez scored twice as Barcelona gratefully pounced on a series of Espanyol errors to win the Catalan derby 3-0 and move top of the table thanks to its better head-to-head record over Real.

Barcelona's Luis Suarez kicks the ball to score against Espanyol.   -  AP

Barcelona and Real Madrid remain locked together on 81 points at the top of La Liga after seeing off Espanyol and Valencia respectively on Saturday.

Madrid maintains the edge as it has a game in hand but needed a winner four minutes from time from Marcelo to see off Valencia 2-1.

Luis Suarez scored twice as Barcelona gratefully pounced on a series of Espanyol errors to win the Catalan derby 3-0 and move top of the table thanks to its better head-to-head record over Real.

"The only thing we can do is win our games and keep putting a little pressure on," Suarez told Spanish TV station Movistar.

"They have a difficult and tiring schedule and we'll see what happens come the end of the season."

Jose Manuel Jurado was the Espanyol villain as he dragged well wide with easily the clearest chance of the first half.

The former Watford midfielder's misplaced pass then teed up Suarez to end a five-game goal drought with a neat finish five minutes into the second period.

Lionel Messi didn't add to his 49 goals this season but still played a vital role as he teed up Ivan Rakitic for Barca's second 14 minutes from time.

And Suarez benefited from another defensive howler, this time from Aaron Martin, to slot home his second three minutes from the end.

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