Team-mate rally around Coutinho after an underwhelming debut.

Barcelona star Luis Suarez has jumped to the defence of new signing Philippe Coutinho after a difficult league debut at the Nou Camp.

Coutinho made a cameo appearance off the bench in Barca’s 2-0 victory in the Copa del Rey on Thursday, and was in the starting XI as they came from behind to beat Alaves 2-1 at home on Sunday night in LaLiga.

The Brazil international – who arrived from Liverpool for £142m – had a fairly quiet match before coming off for Paco Alcacer in the 66th minute.

His new team-mate and former Liverpool star Suarez defended Coutinho’s start to LaLiga life.

“It’s difficult to debut in the Camp Nou in the league,” Suarez said.

“Philippe was very good. He did very well trying to drive in the game and the team are happy with his contribution.”

The win ensured that the Catalan giants remain undefeated and 11 points clear at the top of the table.

“If you don’t concentrate you don’t win, sometimes looking at the league positions of rival teams does you no good,” said the Uruguay international.

“In the second half we knew what we were playing for and we got the three points.”