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Jan 20, 2019 at 7.45pm UK
Barcelona
3-1
Leganes
Dembele (32'), Suarez (71'), Messi (90')
FT(HT: 1-0)
/esi/1339/6_G_1_87995/index.html?art_id=347442&game_id=87995&sport_id=1&ESI

Result: Lionel Messi inspires Barcelona off the bench

:Headline: Result: Lionel Messi inspires Barcelona off the bench:
Barcelona make it seven straight La Liga wins with a 3-1 victory over Leganes at Camp Nou on Sunday night.

Barcelona made it seven straight La Liga wins with a 3-1 victory over Leganes at Camp Nou on Sunday night.

Martin Braithwaite cancelled out a first-half strike from Ousmane Dembele to leave the two teams level in the 57th minute, but Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi both netted for the home side in the final 20 minutes.

The result has seen Barcelona once again open up a five-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid at the top of the table.

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde took the opportunity to rest Messi, with the Argentine named on a strong bench which also included Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal.

Thomas Vermaelen and Carles Alena both came in for rare starts, while there was a spot in the Leganes attack for Braithwaite, who scored the only goal of the match against Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey last week.

Dembele's searing pace created the first half-chance of the match in the ninth minute, but Philippe Coutinho saw his attempt from inside the Leganes box deflected over the crossbar.

The visitors were showing plenty of attacking intent, however, with Braithwaite and Youssef En-Nesyri receiving good support in the final third from the wide positions.

Barcelona's next half-chance arrived in the 24th minute when Luis Suarez found space inside the box following a driven cross from Jordi Alba, but his effort was always too high.

Barcelona did make the breakthrough in the 32nd minute, however, when Dembele's low effort from an Alba cross clipped the inside of the post before dropping into the back of the net.

It was far from a vintage first-half performance from the Spanish champions, but Dembele's clever finish saw them lead at the interval as they moved to within 45 minutes of yet another three points.

Coutinho had Barcelona's first chance of the second period after meeting a clever flick from Dembele, but the Brazilian's effort was always too high.

The hosts continued to dominate the ball as the half developed, but Leganes shocked Camp Nou in the 57th minute when they equalised through on-loan Middlesbrough forward Braithwaite.

Braithwaite scored the winner against Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey last week and levelled against Barcelona when he converted a low cross from En-Nesyri, who had been afforded too much space in a dangerous position.

Dembele flashed a low attempt wide of the post moments later as Barcelona looked for a second, but Leganes were so dangerous down the other end and Oscar tested Marc-Andre ter Stegen with a free kick moments after Sergi Roberto had hacked Braithwaite to the deck.

Valverde made a double change in the 64th minute with Messi and Rakitic replacing Alena and Arthur, who struggled to make their mark on the night.

Barcelona were then forced into a third change in the 69th minute when Dembele limped off the field to be replaced by Malcom, who has been strongly linked with a move away from the club.

The home side re-took the lead in the 71st minute when Luis Suarez converted from close range after Leganes goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar had made a wonderful save to keep out a strike from Messi.

VAR had a look at the incident while Cuellar was on the deck receiving treatment and after a short period, the goal was given.

Cuellar made a smart save to prevent Luis Suarez from making it 3-1 in the 79th minute, but Barcelona did have their third in stoppage time when Messi combined with Alba before finding the top corner with a wonderful strike.

BARCELONA (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Vermaelen, Alba; Alena (Messi 64'), Arthur (Rakitic 64'), Busquets; Coutinho, Suarez, Dembele (Malcom 69')

LEGANES (3-4-1-2): Cuellar; Tarin, Omeruo, Siovas; Nyom, Vesga (Eraso 86'), Recio, Silva; Oscar (El Zhar 86'); Braithwaite (Santos 78'), En-Nesyri body check tags ::

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last updated article - 2019-01-22 20:11:37:
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La Liga Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CReal Madrid38269370254587
2Barcelona38257686384882
3Atletico MadridAtletico381816451272470
4Sevilla381913654342070
5Villarreal381861463491460
6Real Sociedad38168145648856
7Granada38168145245756
8Getafe381412124337654
9Valencia381411134653-753
10Osasuna381313124654-852
11Athletic Bilbao381312134138351
12Levante38147174753-649
13Real Valladolid38915143243-1142
14EibarEibar38119183956-1742
15Real Betis381011174860-1241
16AlavesAlaves38109193459-2539
17Celta Vigo38716153749-1237
RLeganes38812183051-2136
RMallorca3896234065-2533
REspanyol38510232758-3125
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool38323385335299
2Manchester CityMan City382639102356781
3Manchester UnitedMan Utd381812866363066
4Chelsea382061269541566
5Leicester CityLeicester381881267412662
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs3816111161471459
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves381514951401159
8Arsenal381414105648856
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd381412123939054
10Burnley38159144350-754
11Southampton38157165160-952
12Everton381310154456-1249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381111163858-2044
14Crystal Palace381110173150-1943
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914153954-1541
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham38109194962-1339
17Aston Villa3898214167-2635
RBournemouth3897224065-2534
RWatford38810203664-2834
RNorwich CityNorwich3856272675-4921
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