The draw saw Valverde's men extend their unbeaten La Liga run to 37 matches and edged them closer to regaining the title.
And so it did, racking up a 2-0 lead by the start of the second half - only to face a Barca comeback that ended the game with a 2-2 tie.
Argentina's World Cup-winning coach Carlos Bilardo believes Lionel Messi is the world's best player, but he has to win a World Cup to be on the same level as Diego Maradona and Pele. "With and without Messi the team is different". "He had gone a bit of time without playing (because of a hamstring injury) and he needed to play".
Suarez scored from inside the area and Messi quickly got the equalizer with a well-placed left-footed shot into the lower corner, taking his league-leading tally to 26.
As Barcelona saw their unbeaten record nearing its end, Valverde reacted by bringing Lionel Messi on for the final half an hour, and he nearly made an instant impact.
Manchester City is one win away from being crowned Premier League champion after a swaggering 3-1 victory over Everton, while Mohamed Salah was Liverpool's hero yet again as the Egypt star clinched a 2-1 win at Crystal Palace. "But we think it will be fine".
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Barcelona has a 12-point lead over second-place Atletico Madrid, which hosts struggling Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday. "Not at all. That's why we compete until the end. The celebration which followed Messi's goal shows the spirit we have in the team and the importance which we gave to getting the draw". "That's not happened to us before this season. That unbalanced us, we had problems".
After goals from Franco Vazquez and Luis Muriel had given them a two-goal lead, the home side had chance after chance to wrap the win up and become the first side to beat Barca in the league this season.
Meanwhile in the Bundesliga, Bayern swept over Borussia Dortmund 6-0, giving the Munich team a big boost ahead of next week's match against Sevilla.
Messi missed Argentina's two friendly internationals over the Federation Internationale de Football Association break with a hamstring strain, but Valverde says he always planned on bringing on the club's all-time top scorer.
"We could have killed the game off. We had to take risks and, when you take risks, you know they can get at you".More news: South Africa reaches 400-7 at lunch as Australia struggles
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