Barcelona remain five points clear at the top of the La Liga table thanks to a professional 3-1 victory over Leganés at Camp Nou. The Blaugrana dominated most of the match and deserved the three points, although they did suffer at times. They scored goals in key moments, however, and the leaders have now won seven consecutive games in the league.
Leganés started the game by pressing high up the pitch and trying to force a mistake from the Barça backline, but once the Blaugrana started to constantly beat the press and find spaces in the final third, the visitors were forced to drop back and defend deep inside their half. That made the game an exercise of patience for Barça, who needed to be quick and precise with their passing while also waiting for the right moments to attack.
Ousmane Dembélé was a nightmare for the Leganés defense, constantly making his trademark runs through defenders and always causing trouble with dangerous crosses. Jordi Alba was also present with his runs and crosses, and Alba eventually found Dembélé inside the box for an easy finish and the first goal for Barça after a half-hour of play.
There was no real chance after Barça got the goal, but the home team kept pressing and looking for chances. At halftime, the Blaugrana were playing well and deserved the lead, but to make sure of the win they needed to score some more.
Barça still had control of the game to start the second half and were looking to score, but after a long, hopeful ball from the back found En-Nesyri who then found Braithwaite, Leganés somehow had an equalizer despite not deserving it at all. It was an accident, and another freaky accident caused Ousmane Dembélé to injure his ankle and leave the pitch, and things just didn’t look good for Barça with about 25 minutes to go.
The good news is Barça have Lionel Messi, who came off the bench to fire a rocket into the top corner that was saved by goalkeeper Cuéllar, which gave Luis Suárez the chance to poke home the rebound and give his team the lead again. The final minutes were very nervous, with Leganés desperate for an equalizer but stumbling in their own lack of talent.
Then in injury time Barça ended the game thanks to a nice one-two between Messi and Alba and a great finish from Lionel. The final whistle eventually came, and Barça have now won seven straight in the league. Good job, boys.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Vermaelen, Alba; Aleñá (Messi), Busquets, Arthur (Rakitic); Dembélé (Malcom), Suárez, Coutinho
Goals: Dembélé (32’), Suárez (71’), Messi (90’+2)
Leganés: Cuéllar; Nyom, Tarín, Omeruo, Siovas, Silva; Rodríguez (El Zhar), Recio, Vesga (Eraso), En-Nesyri; Braithwaite (Santos)
Goal: Braithwaite (57’)