Leganés 2-1 Barcelona match report: LaLiga gameweek 6
Leganés recorded a historic win over Barcelona, with goals from Oscar and El Zhar seeing them come back from Coutinho's early strike.
Leganés 2-1 Barcelona match report
Messi’s 700th match for Barcelona will not be one he’ll want to reminisce about with a grandchild sitting happily on his knee. Barça had started brightly enough, as expected, against the bottom side in LaLiga, dominating possession and generally worrying a Leganés side who had already conceded 10 in three games. And when Messi passed inside for Coutinho to take a touch and make it 11 in three games and 12 minutes it looked like the dropped points at the weekend against Girona would soon be forgotten.
Alas for Barcelona, Leganés were forced to come out after going behind and the ‘cucumber growers’, as they’re known, suddenly discovered they didn’t have so much to be scared of. En-Nesryi and El Zhar started making incursions into the Barcelona area and just before half-time Oscar forced Ter Stegen into a decent save.
And in the second half, Leganés turned their new found confidence into three points, hitting Barcelona with a double sucker punch with two goals in the 53rd minute. El Zhar brought them level, nodding home a looping Silva ball, and from the restart Piqué made what will go down as one of his worst mistakes on a football pitch, utterly failing to connect with a clearance and only managing to fluff it to Oscar, who buried first time to put the home side in front.
Barcelona had another come-back job on their hands, but unlike on Sunday they were unable to draw level, despite the introduction of first Suárez and then Alba and new man Malcom. If anything, as the clock ran down, Leganés looked as likely to get their third as Barcelona were to get an equaliser. Messi was as quiet as anything and the rest of the Barça front line failed to link up time and again.
At the final whistle the ovation around Butarque was a thunderous roar of pure joy; no doubt, many years from now, more than one grandchild in Leganés will sit enraptured on an elderly grandparent's knee and hear about the first time their little team humbled mighty Barcelona
Leganés vs Barcelona live online: updates
Leganés vs Barcelona live online: preview
For the first time this season, Barcelona have to rebound after dropping points. They drew with Girona on Sunday night and gave Real Madrid amongst others a chance of catching them at the top of the table. Real Madrid play later on Wednesday night meaning Barça have the chance to extend their lead at the top of the table and pile pressure on their rivals from Madrid. To do that, however, they need to travel into enemy territory and play Leganés, who are, despite how early it is in the season, fighting for their lives in the Primera division. Kick-off from Butarque is at 20:00 CET.
Mauricio Pellegrino's side have failed to score in their last two outings but have conceded just once in either game. Their only point of the season came in a 2-2 draw with Real Sociedad in the second week of the league. They conceded two, two and four goals in those first three games but have tightened up in recent weeks. That will have to continue on Wednesday night with a wounded Barcelona coming to town.
The Argentine says "in games like the one against Barcelona, you have to be brave," and he made a name for himself with Alavés playing a counter-attacking style so it will be interesting to see how he lines out. He won't have the services of Jose Arnáiz, Alexander Szymanowski, Ezequiel Muñoz and Kenneth Omeruo along wither midfielder, Recio, who is a doubt for the game.
Barcelona feel aggrieved by Clement Lenglet's red card against Girona in the first half of a game that finished 2-2. It left Ernesto Valverde questioning VAR and Lenglet suspended for one game. We will never know if that result was caused by the red or if Girona truly deserved their point. It won't matter much on Wednesday, however, as Barcelona will look to kill the game early and look forward to the weekend and their game against Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou.
In terms of squad news, Malcom returns to the squad after missing the last two games with injury. He has only played six minutes in the league this season and he replaced Denis Suárez, who will have to watch from the stands again despite being an unused sub against Girona. Lenglet is suspended and won't play but aside from that, Valverde should use a full strength eleven at Butarque. His first foray into rotating his squad backfired on Sunday with Arthur, Arturo Vidal and Lenglet all having varying degrees of forgettable days even though Arthur impressed in spells. Phillippe Coutinho, Samuel Umtiti and Ivan Rakitic should all return to the starting side picked by Valverde.