Updated 01:25 PM EST, Sun, Feb 23, 2020

Luis Suarez Leads Barcelona to Victory Against Bayer Leverkusen in Lionel Messi's Absence

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FC Barcelona forward Luis Suarez proved that he can carry his team to a late victory versus Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday despite Lionel Messi's absence.

Goal said the Uruguay striker scored both goals on their 2-1 win. This happened even with Messi out of the team after he sustained a knee injury last Saturday in a game versus Las Palmas.

FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique attributed their win to the determination of his players.

"We are able to turn the game around through faith and confidence more than our good football. But football is about those things as well," Enrique told Goal.

He also noted that it was a challenge playing without their best player.

"It was a tough night. The second game without our best player and the second win," he added.

CNN noted that it was almost a defeat for the team since they trailed to their opponent with 1-0 having only 10 minutes of game time left.

"It was a tough night. My players deserve a huge amount of credit for turning around a very difficult situation Sometimes you win with faith, sometimes with heart and sometimes with great play. It's clear today it was about faith," added Enrique in the CNN report.

According to Fox Sports, Barca also lost Andres Iniesta to injury.

But Suarez said that they were still able to prove that they are the champions in the game.

"We are the European champions and we knew that in the second half we had to show it. It was important to win, above all playing at home," Suarez said.

It was also detailed in the Fox Sports report that Leverkusen was able to penetrate Barca's gameplay because of Messi's absence.

"Leverkusen pushed high up the field and applied constant pressure once the ball entered the middle third," explained the same report.

Barcelona seemed "disrupted" in their effort to get into the rhythm of the game.

ESPN also observed that Barca "looked particularly vulnerable" as they struggled to put their possessions to good use.

This was only done by the team in the late part of the second half as Suarez emerged as the hero for the team.

The same report also said that losing Messi was an obvious setback for the team but highlighted that they "showed enough hunger, confidence and determination to get the job done in his absence -- even though they almost left their reaction for far too late."

"We believed in ourselves until the end. The coach  gave us good advice in the break and now it is important for us to be leaders," Suarez said in The Star Online report.

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