Relive the highlights, scores and commentary from the La Liga encounter between FC Barcelona and Leganes at the Camp Nou on Tuesday.
There wasn’t action in the game, but Barcelona got the job done with two important goals from Lionel Messi and Ansu Fati.
Barcelona’s victory extends their lead to five points at the top of La Liga table, pending the outcome of Real Madrid’s fixture with Valencia later on.
The encounter was mostly dull and uneventful in the first half till Ansu Fati’s decisive screamer broke the deadlock in the 42nd minute, slotting a perfect shot into the right bottom corner following a superb combination with Junior FIRPO on the left side of the pitch.
Blaugrana captain, Lionel Messi wrapped things up with a nice penalty in the 69th minute. Messi was brought down in the Leganes box while attempting a pass and give following a nice solo run at the Leganes defense. He calmly converted the resultant penalty to finish the fixture at 2:0 for Barcelona. Messi’s goal is his 21st of the season in La Liga as he looks on course to grab yet another Pichichi trophy which will see him beat Telmo Zarra’s record as the highest recipient of the goal scoring award.
VIEW HIGHLIGHTS BELOW 👇
Barcelona extends its unbeaten streak at home to 39. Goals from Ansu Fati and Lionel Messi secure three points for the La Liga champion. Leganes, started the game off really well in the first half. Barcelona had its back against the wall as Leganes could have taken the lead on two occasions. But the home team then founds it feet. Ansu Fati opened the scoring in the 42nd minute through Ansu Fati. Griezmann had a goal disallowed in the 64th minute because his provider, Semedo, was later found offside. Five minutes later, Messi converted from the spot. Five Barcelona players entered the book in the last 10 minutes but overall, a good day at work for the home team.
FULL-TIME!!! The referee blows the long whistle and that’s the end of the match.
95‘ Leganes manager Javier Aguirre has been sent off for his remarks on the sideline.
Six minutes have been added to the second half.
90′ WHAT A SAVE! Kevin Rodrigues for the far post from the left flank but Ter Stegen parries the ball away with a great, diving effort.
90′ YELLOW CARD FOR FIRPO!
88′ PUIG MISSES! TWICE! Two saves by Cuellar to deny the youngster. First, Messi lays it to Vidal down the centre, who sets Puig through. He is one-on-one with the keeper and the latter makes the save. The corner is quickly takenand Puig has a crack at goal, only to be denied again.
84′ YELLOW CARDS. This time for Puig. Lenglet is also booked. It’s a flurry of yellow cards. Puig brings down Perez, while Lenglet is booked for an elbow to Carrillo.
83′ YELLOW CARD! Umtiti enters the books and he will miss Barcelona’s next match against Sevilla.
80′ FOUL! Puig makes a great run down the left and just when he cuts in, he is brought down by Awaziem. Rakitic goes for goal from a tight angle but the ball flies wide off the far post. Remember Toni Kross’ goal for Germany against Sweden in the 2018 World Cup? Rakitic almost pulled off a similar feet. ALMOST!
79′ WIDE! Vidal chips the ball into the centre of the box and Griezmann does well to get contact with his head, but he fails to control the direction as the ball flies wide.
75′ Cooling break for the second half.
73′ Double Substitution for Barcelona|IN- Samuel Umtiti, Riqui Puig | OUT- Pique, Arthur
69′ GOOOOOALLLLL!! MESSI SENDS THE KEEPER THE WRONG WAY. NO.21 FOR MESSI IN THE SEASON. Calm and collected, he slots the ball to his right. This time, for sure, the goal is legitimate.
67′ PENALTY TO BARCELONA! It’s all happening at Camp Nou. Messi with a beautiful solo run. Runs past Perez, nutmegs Bustinza, plays a one-two with Suarez before being brought down by Perez. Yellow card for Perez.
SCRATCH THAT! OFF-SIDE! The goal was later checked Semedo was found off-side. Oh, no! Score is still 1-0.
64′ GOOOALLLLLLL!! Griezmann is on the scoresheet!! Messi with a clinical chip through to Semedo down the right. Semedo squares it on the first time and Griezmann tucks the ball into the bottom right corner right across from the face of goal. BEAUTIULLY CRAFTED GOAL AND INSTANT IMPACT FROM SEMEDO!
63′ Substitution for Leganes|IN- Ibrahim Amadou | OUT- Eraso
63′ Substitution for Barcelona|IN- Arturo Vidal| OUT- Sergio Busquets.
62′ CORNER! Messi’s lob pass, looking to set up Luis Suarez is deflected off by Awaziem. Nothing comes off the corner.
60′ PIQUE IS BACK! Good news for Barca fans as the veteran defender is back on the pitch.
56′ Pique on the ground and in serious pain. He puts in a sliding tackle on Assale and holds his shin immediately after the impact. He might have been caught by the impact of Assale’s stud. He walks off to the sideline to receive further treatment.
54′ SAVE! Sub Assale, off his weak foot, looks to beat ter Stegen to the far from the centre. But the curler is pouched comfortably by the Barca ‘keeper.
The goal scorer is off to the bench after a good day at work. Suarez to the middle and Griezmann moves to the left. Messi, with a free role.
53′ Substitution for Barcelona |IN- Luis Suarez, Nelson Semedo | OUT- Ansu Fati, Sergio Roberto
Neat passing from Barcelona early in the second half.
51′ SAVE! Messi goes for goal but it’s a comfortable catch for the Leganes goalkeeper.
50′ FREE-KICK! Recio brings down Messi a few yards away fromt he box and it’s a free-kick for the home side in a dangerous position. Messi, 30 metres away from goal, is ready.
SECOND HALF BEGINS!!
Half-time substitution for Leganes. Roger Assale comes on for R. Mesa. Barcelona remains unchanged!
THE PLAYERS ARE BACK OUT AND LET’S GET GOING FOR THE SECOND HALF!
Not a lot of Messi and Griezmann in the opening half but has Ansu Fati done just enough to break the shackles and will we see a rejuvenated Messi in the second half?
HALF-TIME!!! The first half comes to and end and what an electric end to the opening half. Goal at a brilliant time for Barcelona but Leganes is definitely not out of the contest yet. A lot of positives from the first half for the visitor.
Three minutes have been added to the first half.
42′ GOOALLLLL!! The deadlock is finally broken. Ansu Fati receives the ball at the edge of the box, right down the centre and he releases the ball off his feet in no time. Fati finds the bottom right corner and this is the 17-year-old’s fifth La Liga goal of the season.
40′ CORNER AND OFF TARGET! Rakitic curls the ball in and Lenglet rises above his marker, Tarin, to head the ball but manages to do so way off target. Goal kick to Leganes.
38′ FOUL! Once again, Ansu Fati is stopped in his tracks. This time, it was Awaziem. Nothing comes off the free-kick.
37′ YELLOW CARD! That challenge had a booking written all over it. Bustenza brings down Messi on the right flank with a rugby-like tackle. Holds the Argentine and pulls him down. Some say that’s the only way to stop Messi.
It took Barcelona just 65 seconds to score at Mallorca but it’s been 36 minutes and Barcelona is yet to score on the night.
33′ Play resumes!
30′ WIDEE!!! Rakitic sets up Griezmann with a loopy cross into the box from the right flank. But the striker’s header flies wide of goal. That’s the first shot on goal by Barcelona today. The players will now have a cooling break.
27′ SAVE! Leganes ‘keeper Cuellar charges off his line and dives forward to glove the deflection off a Leganes defender. Griezmann was lurking in the area.
25′ TOO STRONG! Busquets was looking for Griezmann but the ball is too quick for the Frenchman to gather. Goalkick.
23′ FOUL! Recio brings down Messi on the left flank and Messi will take the spot kick. His inswinger just lands just ahead of Pique and the goalkeeper pouches the ball.
22′ Barcelona looks more settled now. Passing accuracy has increased and the home team looks more confident at the back. And as you expect the side to, it is dominating the possession.
15′ Wow, what an electric start by the bottom-placed team. The team has just eight points on the road this season but looks like scoring first tonight. Barcelona, has not lost in the past 38 league games at home. Won 33, drawn 5.
13′ JUST WIDE! Guerrero’s shot misses by a whisker! Leganes knocking on the door and the champion is wobbling. Caught sleeping at the back. Leganes looks threatening. Three shots for Leganes, none for Barca. Guerrero, a tad wide of the right upright, goes for goal but the ball misses the far post by inches.
11′ BLOCKED ON THE LINE BY LENGLET! Eraso, failed to pull the trigger after zipping down the left flank with acres of space. He is late on the shot and the ball falls to Guerrero. He pulls the trigger but his shot was blocked from six yards out by Lenglet. WHAT A CHANCE!!
11′ FREE-KICK FOR BARCA! Ansu Fati is fouled on the left flank. Messi tries to find Pique wiht the cross but the ball is cleared and Leganes on the counter.
9′ CLEARED! What a sliding challenge from Bustinza. Messi plays a beautiul through to Roberto on the right flank but Bustinza does well to chase Sergio down and concede a throw-in. The move was a result of a counter-attack which started with Ansu Fati bringing the ball forward. Mesa, in the Barca box, failed to collect a cut-back from Ruibal.
7′ Bustinza and Messi involved in a tussle down the right flank and it’s a throw-in for Leganes. Roberto had played through to Messi but the Argentine failed to capitalise on this occasion.
5 changes in total for Barcelona, 6 for the traveling Leganes.
6′ Ruben Perez dispossesses Messi on the right flank, at the edge of the box.
Still no place for Umtiti in the starting XI. Lenglet is preferred by Setien again. Hmm.
3′ CLEARED! Messi plays the inside-out ball to Firpo on the left flank, whose cross is cleared away by Awaziem.
2′ The ball hits the referee and the play resumes again. Bit of comedy at the start.
FIRST HALF BEGINS!!
The referee’s whistle gets the match underway. Let’s get started!
The players are out on the pitch
After 101 days, football is back in the city of Barcelona and at Camp Nou.
A minute’s silence for the victims of COVID-19.
After Espanyol picked up a draw against Getafe, Leganes is now 20th.
The starting XIs have been announced:
Barcelona: Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Gerard Pique, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Roberto, Arthur Melo, Lionel Messi, Clement Lenglet, Antoine Griezmann, Sergio Busquets, Junior Firpo, Ansu Fati
Leganes: Ivan Cuellar, Unai Bustinza, Jonathan Silva, Raque Mesa, Recio, Guerrero, Chidozie Awaziem, Rodri Tarin, Eraso, Aitor Ruibal, Ruben Perez
What to look forward to:
- Barcelona’s last home defeat dates back to November 2018.
- Barcelona will be looking for its 14th home league win of the season.
- Leganes has been the worst attacking side this season. Scoring the least number of goals so far. (22)
Current position in table:
- Barcelona- 28 matches (19-Wins | 4-Draws |5- Losses | 61 points)
- Leganes- 28 matches (5-Wins |8-Draws | 15- Losses | 23 points)
The three-month break caused by the coronavirus pandemic didn’t seem to adversely affect the chances of Barcelona and Real Madrid to fight for the Spanish league title.
Both teams had comfortable victories over the weekend as the league returned to action in empty stadiums. Barcelona won 4-0 at Mallorca and Madrid easily defeated Eibar 3-1 at home.
The results kept Barcelona two points ahead of Madrid with 10 rounds remaining.
“It’s going to be a fight in which we both feel that we can’t fail again,” Barcelona coach Quique Setien said on Monday. “I hope the advantage we have right now will be enough to secure us the title. But there are many things that will be out of our control in this final month.”
Barcelona hosts relegation-threatened Leganes in an empty Camp Nou on Tuesday, while Madrid welcomes seventh-place Valencia on Thursday – again at its training center while the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium remains under renovation for the rest of the season.
“I don’t know to what extent (playing without fans) will affect us,” Setien said. “I would rather play with fans but that’s not possible, so we have to adapt. Soccer loses part of its essence when matches are played in empty stadiums.”
Both Barcelona and Real Madrid got a boost during the break as Luis Suarez and Eden Hazard had time to recover from injuries that were expected to keep them out for the season.
There had been some concern about Lionel Messi’s return as well, especially after he sustained a small injury not long before the league resumed, but the playmaker scored a goal and set up two others on Saturday.
Messi is the league’s leading scorer with 20 goals and has directly contributed to 15 of the team’s last 18 goals (seven goals and eight assists). He has scored 20 or more goals for 12 straight seasons in the league.
“Messi is fine,” Setien said. “It’s not only about the goals, you have to look at how much he contributes to the team. He helps us in every game.”
Both Setien and Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane took advantage of the five substitutions available to coaches after the pandemic, and Setien said he plans to rotate the squad often to guarantee his players remain fit through the end of the season.
“There will be changes as the matches go on,” he said. “We will see how fatigue affects each player. I want us to arrive fresh at the end of the season. We’ll have to see how the players recover after each match.”
The Spanish league is scheduled to end on July 19.
Commentary curbed from Sportstar