Spanish La Liga

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.



Formation 4-3-3

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


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


Formation 5-4-1

  • 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


  • 2Moreno Fuertes
  • 6Gumbau
  • 10El Zhar
  • 14Kravets
  • 17Eraso
  • 20Santos
  • 29Lunin
Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea

Match Stats

Home TeamBarcelonaAway TeamLeganés
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Barcelona 3, Leganés 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Barcelona 3, Leganés 1.

  3. Post update

    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.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Rodrigo Tarín.

  5. Post update

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

  6. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Dimitrios Siovas.

  7. Post update

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

  8. Post update

    Foul by Javier Eraso (Leganés).

  9. Post update

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

  10. Post update

    Foul by Recio (Leganés).

  11. 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.

  12. Post update

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

  13. Post update

    Foul by Kenneth Omeruo (Leganés).

  14. Post update

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

  15. Post update

    Foul by Malcom (Barcelona).

  16. Post update

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

  17. Post update

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

  18. Post update

    Foul by Javier Eraso (Leganés).

  19. Post update

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

  20. Post update

    Foul by Youssef En-Nesyri (Leganés).

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

2Atl Madrid20118130131741
3Real Madrid2011363024636
7Real Betis208572525029
8Real Sociedad207582524126
13Ath Bilbao2041152126-523
15Real Valladolid205781723-622
17Celta Vigo205693234-221
18Rayo Vallecano2055102436-1220
View full Spanish La Liga table

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