Spanish La Liga
Barcelona3Leganés1

Barcelona 3-1 Leganes: Lionel Messi off the bench to inspire victory

Ousmane Dembele in action for Barcelona
Ousmane Dembele (left) made a career-best 12 dribbles in the first half - more than he has managed for Barcelona in any match

Lionel Messi came off the bench to inspire La Liga leaders Barcelona to victory over Leganes - their seventh successive win in all competitions.

Ousmane Dembele fired in to give the champions a first-half lead before Martin Braithwaite, on loan from Middlesbrough, tapped in the equaliser.

Luis Suarez handed Barca the advantage again when he poked home after Messi's superb free-kick had been saved.

Messi then grabbed the third in stoppage time with a thumping shot.

The result moves Ernesto Valverde's team to 46 points from 20 games, five ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid with arch-rivals Real Madrid third with 36 points.

However, it seemed for a while that Barca's advantage would be only three going into the next round of games.

The fixture began brightly for the Catalan club during a one-sided first half dominated by the brilliance of France forward Dembele, his trickery and sensational pace embarrassing the opposition defence at times.

The first example of his blistering speed came in the 12th minute when he burst into the area before feeding Philippe Coutinho, who fired his shot high over the bar.

Then came his goal. Defender Gerard Pique began the move by dribbling past two Leganes players, before the ball eventually reached Jordi Alba on the left.

The Spaniard found Dembele in the area, who turned his foot and directed a first-time strike past the reach of Ivan Cuellar.

Mid-table Leganes barely threatened the Barca area, but that changed after the break when Braithwaite converted from close range following a swift break.

Messi and Ivan Rakitic were introduced not long after, although Barcelona suffered another blow when Dembele came off with an ankle injury.

Despite that setback Barcelona reasserted their control. They took the lead once more when Cuellar failed to deal with Messi's strike and Suarez poked in.

And in stoppage time, Messi made certain of the points with a fierce right-foot finish after good combination play with Alba.

Line-ups

Barcelona

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 20RobertoBooked at 60mins
  • 3Piqué
  • 24Vermaelen
  • 18Alba
  • 21AleñáBooked at 54minsSubstituted forMessiat 64'minutes
  • 5BusquetsBooked at 12mins
  • 8Ramos de Oliveira MeloSubstituted forRakiticat 64'minutes
  • 11DembéléSubstituted forMalcomat 69'minutes
  • 9Suárez
  • 7Coutinho

Substitutes

  • 2Nélson Semedo
  • 4Rakitic
  • 10Messi
  • 13Cillessen
  • 14Malcom
  • 17Murillo
  • 22Vidal

Leganés

  • 1Cuéllar
  • 12Nyom
  • 15TarínBooked at 22mins
  • 24OmeruoBooked at 30mins
  • 22Siovas
  • 5Silva
  • 27RodríguezSubstituted forEl Zharat 86'minutes
  • 8García del Pozo
  • 23VesgaSubstituted forErasoat 86'minutes
  • 26En-Nesyri
  • 25BraithwaiteBooked at 8minsSubstituted forSantosat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Moreno Fuertes
  • 6Gumbau
  • 10El Zhar
  • 14Kravets
  • 17Eraso
  • 20Santos
  • 29Lunin
Referee:
Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea
Attendance:
50,670

Match Stats

Home TeamBarcelonaAway TeamLeganés
Possession
Home72%
Away28%
Shots
Home15
Away5
Shots on Target
Home7
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away1
Fouls
Home12
Away18

Live Text

Match ends, Barcelona 3, Leganés 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Barcelona 3, Leganés 1.

Attempt saved. Luis Suárez (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jordi Alba.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Rodrigo Tarín.

Attempt missed. Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left following a corner.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Dimitrios Siovas.

Sergio Busquets (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Javier Eraso (Leganés).

Coutinho (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Recio (Leganés).

Goal!

Goal! Barcelona 3, Leganés 1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Jordi Alba.

Luis Suárez (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Kenneth Omeruo (Leganés).

Offside, Leganés. Jonathan Silva tries a through ball, but Allan Nyom is caught offside.

Foul by Malcom (Barcelona).

Jonathan Silva (Leganés) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Lionel Messi (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Javier Eraso (Leganés).

Sergio Busquets (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Youssef En-Nesyri (Leganés).

Substitution

Substitution, Leganés. Javier Eraso replaces Mikel Vesga.

Substitution

Substitution, Leganés. Nabil El Zhar replaces Óscar Rodríguez.

Foul by Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona).

Youssef En-Nesyri (Leganés) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Leganés. Conceded by Thomas Vermaelen.

Attempt saved. Luis Suárez (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jordi Alba.

Substitution

Substitution, Leganés. Michael Santos replaces Martin Braithwaite.

Foul by Luis Suárez (Barcelona).

Recio (Leganés) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Iván Cuéllar (Leganés) because of an injury.

Goal!

Goal! Barcelona 2, Leganés 1. Luis Suárez (Barcelona) left footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Malcom.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Malcom replaces Ousmane Dembélé because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Martin Braithwaite (Leganés) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Ousmane Dembélé (Barcelona) because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Ivan Rakitic replaces Arthur.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Lionel Messi replaces Carles Aleñá.

Attempt blocked. Youssef En-Nesyri (Leganés) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Óscar Rodríguez.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 20th January 2019

  • BarcelonaBarcelona3LeganésLeganés1
  • Real BetisReal Betis3GironaGirona2
  • VillarrealVillarreal1Ath BilbaoAthletic Bilbao1
  • LevanteLevante2Real ValladolidReal Valladolid0
  • Rayo VallecanoRayo Vallecano2Real SociedadReal Sociedad2

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Barcelona20144256213546
2Atl Madrid20118130131741
3Real Madrid2011363024636
4Sevilla209653122933
5Alavés209562223-132
6Getafe208752516931
7Real Betis208572525029
8Real Sociedad207582524126
9Valencia2051141918126
10Levante207583235-326
11Girona205962326-324
12Espanyol197392127-624
13Ath Bilbao2041152126-523
14Leganés205781824-622
15Real Valladolid205781723-622
16Eibar195772128-722
17Celta Vigo205693234-221
18Rayo Vallecano2055102436-1220
19Villarreal203982126-518
20Huesca2025131739-2211
View full Spanish La Liga table

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