|Barça Players celebrate Messi’s winner vs Leganés|
After a horrid performance on Tuesday night that saw them lose 4-0 to PSG in the UEFA Champions League, Barcelona were looking to bounce back when they hosted relegation threatened newcomers Leganés at the Camp Nou in La Liga.
The Catalans didn’t quite put up a display the fans would like as they needed a late penalty to get a scrappy 2-1 win after a poor showing in front of their fans throughout the game.
Lionel Messi netted both Barcelona goals, one early in the first half, the other late in the second. Unai Lopez grabbed one for the visitors in between but Barça luckily got all three points and keep up the pace on leaders Real Madrid.
Luis Enrique started a rotating line up with Mathieu, Digne, Rakitic and Rafinha Alcántara all starting. It didn’t take long for Barça to get the opener as a fine low cross from Suarez found Messi in the box who slotted past the Leganés keeper to make it 1-0 after three minutes.
The goal made it seem as if Barça would vent their anger on Leganés and get a big win but that wasn’t the case as the visitors took over, they got a golden chance minutes later when El Zhar found himself one-on-one with Ter Stegen but the German goalkeeper denied him twice.
Barça improved for a few minutes and almost got 2-0 after Luis Suarez found Messi with a fine pass in the box but the Argentine couldn’t beat Herrerin from a tight angle.
Ter Stegen then pulled the save of the game close to half time when he did spectacularly to deny El Zhar’s shot which deflected off Samuel Umtiti. The save kept Barça in the lead.
Ter Stegen was Barça’s best performer, and he did well to make another stunning save to deny Guerrero in the second half. Minutes later, Rafinha Alcántara’s shot after a fine run was cleared of the line.
The equaliser would arrive soon as Sergi Roberto carelessly lost the ball close to Barça’s box, Machis capitalised and passed to Unai Lopez who shot beneath Ter Stegen to make it 1-1 with 20 minutes left to play.
It was a poor performance from Barça and they needed a saving grace in the denying stage to get the win. Neymar did well to get into the Leganés box before being fouled by Mantovani, the referee immediately pointed to the spot and Messi kept his composure and slotted in the penalty kick, for obvious reasons, he didn’t celebrate.
Barça held on and got the not-so-deserved three points. They face Atletico Madrid next week.