Leganés 1-2 Barcelona: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Sub-Par Visitors Secure Comeback Victory

Barcelona remain top of La Liga after coming from behind to defeat Leganés 2-1, despite a disjointed performance from La Blaugrana at Estadio Municipal de Butarque.

Youssef En-Nesyri broke the deadlock on 11 minutes when he whipped a devilish effort beyond a statuesque Marc-André ter Stegen, the German helplessly watching on as the forward cut inside onto his left foot and arced a mesmerising shot into the top corner.

Los Popineros nearly doubled their advantage soon after, but Óscar Rodríguez saw his fierce, angled drive clip the base of the upright as he looked to beat the ter Stegen at his near post.

Luis Suarez finally beat the veteran shot-stopper in the early stages of the second half, Lionel Messi clipping a free kick towards the unmarked Uruguayan, who duly nodded past Cuéllar.

Rather than crumbling, Leganés reacted defiantly and went in search of a second, Javier Aguirre’s recruits pressurising the visitors. Despite their valiant response, they came undone as Arturo Vidal struck a fortuitous winner with time running out.

Luis Suarez

Having been introduced midway through the second half, the midfielder proved to be Barcelona’s hero, turning home from point-blank range after a corner rebounded off the standing leg of Rubén Pérez.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Cuéllar (8); Rosales (6), Bustinza (7), Omeruo (8), Siovas (6), Silva (5); Rodríguez (6), Mesa (7), Pérez (6); En-Nesyri (7), Braithwaite (7).

Substitutes: Eraso (5), Carrillo (6), Tarín (6).




Key Talking Point

As this season progresses, it’s looking increasingly likely that Ernesto Valverde will leave Catalunya before the start of the 2020/21 campaign. This match highlighted the mounting problems at Barcelona, and demonstrated why their coach is on the brink.

La Blaugrana were lethargic for huge periods of the contest, their opponents maintaining their lead with relative comfort as they reached half time with a clean sheet still intact. 

Ernesto Valverde

Considering the devastating forward line that began for Ernesto Valverde, it’s astounding the champions failed to cause too many issues for bottom of the table Leganés. They should have torn Aguirre’s side to shreds, yet they were fortunate to net even once.

The squad seems disinterested, the team pass for the sake of passing, and senior players are cowering away when they face a challenge. It’s simply unacceptable; several high-profile figures will be paying the price.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Ter Stegen (6); Wagué (5), Piqué (4), Umtiti (6), Firpo (5); de Jong (7*). Busquets (6); Dembélé (7), Messi (7), Griezmann (6); Suárez (5).

Substitutes: Vidal (6), Fati (6), Rakiti? (5).

STAR MAN – Frenkie de Jong

A number of the Barcelona lineup will be disappointed with their showing at Estadio Municipal de Butarque. By contrast, very few can be truly proud of their afternoon’s work.

Yousseff En-Nesyri,Frenkie de Jong

Messi was integral in the turnaround as the Argentine magician showed marked improvement after the restart, whilst Ousmane Dembélé was also a danger down the wing for the Catalans.

However, neither of the duo were impressive for the entire the 90 minutes. Frenkie de Jong was the only one who looked assured throughout the match, the Dutch playmaker keeping the tempo high in midfield as he distributed with class and poise.


Looking Ahead

Barcelona resume their ?Champions League campaign on Wednesday evening when ?Borussia Dortmund travel to Camp Nou, before Valverde’s recruits face another seismic showdown as they lock horns with ?Atlético Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano four days later.

Leganés play away to Sevilla in their next ?La Liga fixture, with Los Pepineros hosting Celta Vigo in the Spanish capital the following week.

?For more from Ed Alexander, follow him on Twitter


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