Live Commentary: Barcelona 2-1 Leganes - as it happened

Good evening and welcome to Sports Mole's live commentary of the La Liga clash between Barcelona and Leganes at Camp Nou.

Barcelona will enter this match off the back of a humiliating 4-0 defeat at Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie on Tuesday night.

The Catalan giants have also fallen four points behind Real Madrid at the top of La Liga, and Los Blancos still have a game in hand over Luis Enrique's side.

As for Leganes, a difficult campaign has left Asier Garitano's side in 17th position in the table, just two points clear of the relegation zone.

6.46pm
Evening all! Sports Mole's live La Liga coverage continues from Camp Nou as the Spanish champions Barcelona welcome struggling Leganes. The Catalan giants were humiliated by Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday night and will be looking to bounce back with a strong performance and indeed result in front of their own supporters. Leganes might well feel a backlash from Lionel Messi & Co. tonight! Sit back and follow what occurs in Barcelona right here.

6.49pm
Barcelona and Leganes met for the first time in their history earlier this season and it was Barcelona that recorded a 5-1 victory over the newly-promoted club. Indeed, tonight Leganes will play their first ever game at Camp Nou. Only two sides have won their first match in this stadium – Malaga in 1999 and Villarreal in 1998. Will Leganes become the third? Stay tuned to find out.

6.52pm
Tonight's clash has taken on even more importance considering what happened to Barcelona on Tuesday night. The Spanish champions were tipped by many as the favourites to win the Champions League this season, but a 4-0 defeat at PSG in the first leg of their last-16 clash has left Luis Enrique's side all but out of the competition. It is imperative that they return to winning ways here.

6.55pm
Right, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news from Camp Nou. Has Enrique rung the changes from the PSG match, or have the players been given the chance to put it right? What about Leganes, will they go for the jugular tonight? Let's run through the XIs...

6.58pm
TEAMS!
BARCA: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Mathieu, Umtiti, Digne; Rafinha, Gomes, Rakitic; Neymar, Suarez, Messi

LEGANES: Herrerin; Tito, Mantovani, Siovas, Rico; Alberto, Moran; El Zhar, Gabriel, Alex; Guerrero

7.02pm
Barcelona boss Luis Enrique has made four changes to the team that started the PSG clash, with Jeremy Mathieu, Lucas Digne, Rafinha and Ivan Rakitic replacing Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets. Busquets misses out tonight through suspension, while Javier Mascherano and Arda Turan are still out injured. Neymar, Luis Suarez and Messi all start in the final third.

7.05pm
As for Leganes, key midfielder Ruben Perez misses out through suspension, but there is a spot in the XI for Nabil El Zhar, who is tasked with supporting Alexander Szymanowski and Miguel Angel Guerrero in the final third. There are four loanees in the Leganes side tonight, with Iago Herrein starting between the sticks and Tito, Dimitris Siovas and Adrian Marin operating further forward.

7.08pm
So there we have it. The two teams are in and we are now just about 40 minutes from kickoff on this mild evening in Barcelona. I shall speak about the away side a little bit later, but let's start with the hosts. European problems aside, third-place Barcelona are now four points behind Real Madrid at the top of La Liga and have still played one more match than the current league leaders.

7.12pm
If Real Madrid win both of their spare matches, they will open up at least a seven-point lead at the top of the table. That is even more incredible when considering that Barcelona are actually on a 15-game unbeaten run in the league, and 10 of those have been victories. Indeed, they will enter this match off the back of a thumping 6-0 victory at Copa del Rey final opponents Alaves last time out in La Liga.

7.15pm
Barcelona drew back-to-back home league games against Malaga and Real Madrid towards the end of 2016, but they have scored 12 times in their last three league games in this stadium – beating Espanyol, Las Palmas and Athletic Bilbao. It is difficult to be too critical of a team that has only lost two of their 22 league fixtures during the 2016-17 campaign, but they are currently down in third.

7.18pm
It would be fair to say that Barcelona's performances have not always matched the results, however, and the pressure has been building on Luis Enrique for some time. The head coach's contract will expire at the end of the season and there are strong rumours that he will step down, with a recent report claiming that the former Barcelona midfielder has 'lost the dressing room' at Camp Nou.

7.22pm
Enrique has won two league titles, two Copa del Reys and one Champions League crown since taking charge in 2014, but the standards are very high at Barcelona and there is a real possibility that the club could only be left with the Copa del Rey title this season. Indeed, their Champions League journey looks over and they have ground to make up on Real Madrid in La Liga.

7.25pmIn terms of what is ahead for Barcelona, they have the small matter of a trip to Atletico Madrid in La Liga next weekend, before facing Sporting Gijon and Celta Vigo in back-to-back home matches at the start of next month. Then, on March 8, Enrique's side will welcome PSG to Camp Nou looking to turn around that 4-0 first-leg deficit, which does seem to be an impossible task.

7.28pmAs for Leganes, the team from the outskirts of Madrid are playing in the top flight of Spanish football for the first time in their history. They actually competed in the third tier as recent as 2014, but gained promotion to the Segunda Division at the end of the 2013-14 campaign, before finishing second in the Segunda last season to earn the right to play La Liga football this term.

7.35pmA record of four wins, six draws and 12 defeats has brought Leganes 18 La Liga points, with that total leaving them in 17th position in the table, just two points clear of the relegation zone. They have actually only conceded 37 league goals this season, but are the lowest scorers in the division (15).

7.38pmWorryingly, Leganes are without a league win since beating basement side Osasuna in November and they have lost their last three in Spain's top flight without scoring. Since a 2-2 draw with Alaves on January 21, Asier Garitano's side have lost 2-0 at Atletico Madrid, and 2-0 at home to both Celta Vigo and fellow strugglers Sporting Gijon, which was a very damaging defeat.

7.38pmWorryingly, Leganes are without a league win since beating basement side Osasuna in November and they have lost their last three in Spain's top flight without scoring. Since a 2-2 draw with Alaves on January 21, Asier Garitano's side have lost 2-0 at Atletico Madrid, and 2-0 at home to both Celta Vigo and fellow strugglers Sporting Gijon, which was a very damaging defeat.

7.42pmLeganes' away record this season, however, is better than their form at home. They have only won once and collected just seven points at home, but have won three of their 11 games on the road. That said, they have only scored eight times on their travels this term, which is the worst record in the division. To put it kindly, Leganes are not going to serve up a goal-feast at Camp Nou tonight.


0 min
KICKOFF! Barcelona kick things off on home soil...

2 min
... as expected, the home side have taken control of the possession in the opening moments of this match. Leganes really have to get through the opening five, 10 minutes without conceding here.

4 min
Barcelona are camped outside the Leganes box at the moment as they pass and probe in the final third of the field. The visitors have had one chance to break clear through Gabriel, but the number eight could not find a teammate with a cross. You fear for Leganes if they concede early here.

4 min
GOAL! Barcelona 1-0 Leganes (Messi)

5 min
That did not take long then! Barcelona make the breakthrough in the fourth minute as Suarez delivers a wonderful cross into Messi and the Argentine simply cannot miss from close range.

7 min
Not much of an atmosphere inside Camp Nou tonight, and in truth, it is not going to be the best game for the neutral. Leganes have hardly had a touch of the ball in the opening seven minutes and they are just sitting back trying to survive at the moment. Utter domination from Barcelona here.

9 min
Another half-chance for the home side as the ball breaks for Suarez and the striker looks favourite to beat Herrerin in the foot-race, but the Leganes goalkeeper does well to clear his lines.

11 min
Barcelona have had 80% of the ball in the opening 11 minutes of this match, which is an indication of what has occurred so far tonight. A second goal for the hosts would surely end this as a contest.

13 min
It will be an achievement if Leganes get a corner tonight, let alone a goal. Umtiti gives Ter Stegen something to do as he passes back to his goalkeeper, but that is just about it in terms of the German's involvement so far tonight. Barcelona continue to pass and probe int he final third.

15 min
Not an awful lot to report in terms of chances at the moment, with Barcelona keeping the ball without really threatening to score a second. Leganes are so unbelievably deep here.

17 min
SAVES! Oh my word! Super chance for Leganes to level as El Zhar breaks into a one-on-one situation with Ter Stegen, but the German makes a really smart save, before denying the same player moments later after the ball had broken loose. El Zhar just had to find the back of the net.

20 min
In fairness to Leganes, they have been a lot better in the last five minutes or so. Meanwhile, El Zhar is showing that he has the pace and trickery to really cause Barcelona's back four problems. We have not seen too much from Neymar in the opening 20 minutes of this match it must be said.

22 min
Possession football from Barcelona as they continue to pass and probe, but Leganes have tightened at the back and have been able to frustrate the home side since the opening goal went in.

24 min
Leganes are trying to push further up the field, which is commendable, but you fancy that Barcelona will start to find space behind the defence. Rafinha combines with Messi in impressive fashion just outside the Leganes box, but the final pass from the Brazilian is just too strong.

26 min
Andre Gomes looks a player short of confidence tonight as the midfielder loses the ball on a couple of occasions and shakes his head after drawing a reaction from the crowd. There is no question that Barcelona have some issues to address, but they are still a brilliant football team packed full of talent.

28 min
With the greatest will in the world, Leganes are going to struggle to win tonight, but the last thing they need is a heavy defeat. I feared for them when Messi scored so early, but Leganes have actually been quite comfortable since that occurrence. Still 1-0 with 28 minutes on the clock.

28 min
SAVE! Super save from Herrerin after Suarez and Messi had combined quite wonderfully in the final third. It was Messi that had the final strike, but Herrerin made the stop!

29 min
Messi is chopped down by Mantovani just and I mean just outside the Leganes box...

29 min
... Messi fires his set piece straight into the away side's wall.

32 min
El Zhar is once again the target for a through pass from Moran, but Ter Stegen is quick off his line to make the claim. There is no question that there is a goal in this for Leganes if they want it!

34 min
Neymar shows super feet just outside the Leganes box before attempting to slide a pass into Messi, but Siovas is on hand to make the clearance. The visitors can then break with Guerrero, but the number nine just cannot find a pass into El Zhar, whose pace had again caused Mathieu problems.

35 min
CHANCE! Mantovani heads over Ter Stegen's crossbar from a corner! The centre-back was unmarked in a very good position and really should have found the back of the net.

38 min
Little over five minutes of the first half remaining and it is the Leganes supporters that can be heard high in the stands. It was a terrible start from the visitors, but they have grown into this football match and really should have got themselves on the scoresheet in this first period of action.

40 min
Possession football from Barcelona in the last few minutes, but they are not really going anywhere with it as Leganes continue to hold their defensive line. Messi's goal remains the difference.

42 min
Neymar needs a goal tonight. He has shown bits and pieces in this first period, but has also lost the ball on a number of occasions and he is another just suffering for confidence at the moment. Well, the first period is almost over and Leganes can be delighted with their work at Camp Nou thus far.

44 min
Suarez again looks for Messi with an angled pass into the Leganes box, but Rico is on hand to block the Argentine and the visitors can regain the ball as we approach the end of the first period here.

44 min
Guerrero's pace again causes Barcelona's back four problems, but Mathieu is on hand with a fine challenge to prevent the striker racing away. He really had to get that one right!

45 min+1
SAVE! Wonderful work from Ter Stegen as the Barcelona goalkeeper adjusts his body to keep out a deflected effort from El Zhar as Leganes threaten once again in this first period!

45 min+2
HALF-TIME: Barcelona 1-0 Leganes

8.33pm
So there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with Barcelona leading Leganes 1-0 courtesy of a fourth-minute goal from Messi, who turned a Suarez cross home. At that point, it did appear that the floodgates would open, but Leganes regrouped very impressively and have had two or three excellent chances to level the scores. Ter Stegen has had to be very alert for the hosts!

8.38pm
STATISTICS! Barcelona have dominated the possession with 72%, while the hosts have had eight attempts - three of which were on target. Leganes, meanwhile, hit the target with three of their four attempts in the first 45 minutes. No yellow cards to report, with the referee taking a lenient approach.

8.43pm
BENCH WATCH! La Masia product Alena is on the Barcelona bench tonight, while Iniesta, Alcacer and Denis Suarez are among those also available should Luis Enrique wish to alter proceedings after the break. As for Leganes, the visitors have attacking options in the shape of Machis and Bueno.

46 min
RESTART! Leganes resume the action at Camp Nou...

47 min
... no changes from either side at the break, which is not too much of a surprise. However, I suspect that both managers already have alterations in mind for the second 45 minutes of action.

47 min
BOOKING! Suarez (Barcelona) is booked for a high foot on Moran.

49 min
More danger for Barcelona as Guerrero reacts to a loose ball inside the box, but Digne is on hand to make a brilliant challenge. Leganes have started the second period how they finished the first!

51 min
Far from a full house at Camp Nou tonight and there is a strange atmosphere inside the stadium. It is almost as if the Barcelona supporters are waiting on another poor result to turn against Luis Enrique. The home side could do with a second goal in this match to make themselves more comfortable.

53 min
No real chances for either side in the early stages of the second period, while both are having their share of the possession. There is just something missing from this Barcelona side at the moment.

55 min
There is just no pattern to Barcelona's play at the moment as Leganes continue to find it straightforward to clear their lines. There has to be an improvement from the home side here.

55 min
SAVE! Ter Stegen's one-man Barcelona show continues as the German keeps out a close-range strike from Guerrero. Another big chance for the visitors and another big save!

55 min
BOOKING! Mantovani (Leganes) is booked for a foul on Messi.

58 min
Little over 30 minutes of football remaining in this match and Leganes are still very much in the argument. A second for the home side changes that, but there is no sign of that at the moment.

59 min
A poor effort from Rakitic goes well wide of Herrerin's post.

60 min
SAVE! Herrerin gets down low to keep out a strike from Neymar.

61 min
Szymanowski hits the side-netting from a wide angle as Leganes threaten once again.

63 min
We are entering the stage of the match where both managers will be considering changes. More frustration for the home supporters, meanwhile, as a long passing move ends with Roberto placing the ball straight into the arms of the away side's goalkeeper. Still 1-0 Barcelona at Camp Nou.

65 min
There is some movement on the Leganes bench, but no sign of Luis Enrique making any changes as we head for the final 20 minutes of action. The lack of atmosphere inside the stadium is so apparent.

65 min
LEGANES SUB! Unai Lopez replaces Moran for the away side.

67 min
Suarez looks to turn his centre-back and beat Herrerin to a through ball, but again the Leganes goalkeeper is alert to the danger and can claim. Little over 20 minutes remaining here.

68 min
Mathieu just eases Guerrero off the ball inside the Barcelona penalty box and the referee is happy with the challenge. Leganes continue to cause plenty of problems for the home side here.

69 min
OFF-THE-LINE! Leganes defender Rico clears a Rafinha effort off-the-line as Barcelona threaten to double their advantage. End-to-end football in the last few minutes!

70 min
LEGANES SUB! Marchis replaces Szymanowski for the away side.

71 min
GOAL! Barcelona 1-1 Leganes (Unai Lopez)

72 min
Oh my word! Leganes level the scores in the 71st minute of action as Machis sets up Unai Lopez inside the Barcelona box and the substitute finds a route past Ter Stegen, who almost dived out of the way! Not sure about the goalkeeper there, but it was a powerful side-footed finish!

74 min
Iniesta has been sent to warm-up as we head for the final 15 minutes at Camp Nou.

76 min
Barcelona have a free kick in a dangerous position as Siovas chops Messi to the deck...

77 min
... Messi fires his free kick over the crossbar.

79 min
Little over 10 minutes of football remaining and you just get the feeling that there is going to be a late sting in the tail. Still a lot of football to play before all is said and done at Camp Nou tonight.

79 min
Mantovani is very fortunate to escape a red card after hauling Neymar to the deck while on a yellow card. That is a big moment in this match and the centre-back has really got away with one.

80 min
BARCELONA SUBS! Iniesta and Denis replace Gomes and Rafinha for the home side.

81 min
BARCELONA SUB! Alba replaces Digne for Barcelona.

83 min
Possession football for Barcelona at the moment, and there is no question that Iniesta has quickened things in the final third of the field. Leganes are just starting to drop deeper here.

85 min
SAVE! Super save from Herrerin to prevent Neymar from converting from close range! It was a brilliant piece of reaction goalkeeping from the on-loan Bilbao stopper!

87 min
BOOKING! Siovas (Leganes) is booked for wasting time.

87 min
LEGANES SUB! Insua repalces Siovas for the visitors.

89 min
PENALTY BARCELONA!

89 min
Oh, it is heartbreak! Barcelona have a penalty in the 89th minute as Mantovani brings Neymar to the deck with a rash challenge inside the box. What on earth has the centre-back done there?!

90 min
GOAL! Barcelona 2-1 Leganes (Messi, pen)

90 min+1
Messi fires his spot kick into the top corner and Barcelona have surely got out of jail here.

90 min+2
We are into the second of five additional minutes at Camp Nou.

90 min+3
CLOSE! El Zhar whistles an effort just wide of the Barcelona post!

90 min+5
Barcelona are almost there as we approach the final 60 seconds of stoppage time.

90 min+5
BOOKING! Martin (Leganes) is booked for a poor challenge on Neymar.

90 min+6
FULL-TIME: Barcelona 2-1 Leganes

9.40pm
So there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with Barcelona just edging Leganes 2-1 courtesy of a late spot kick from Messi. It is a big win for the champions, but the performance was again well below the required standard. Thanks for joining us once again. Until next time!

Getty Images

Barcelona field starting eleven with ten foreign players for first time in their La Liga history

Barcelona boss Luis Enrique managed to break an incredible club record when he named an eleven dominated by foreign players against Leganes.

Ten non-Spanish players lined up against the lowly La Liga side as a Lionel Messi brace ensured Barcelona bounced straight back from the shocking 4-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.

Enrique is the first Barcelona boss in their history to name ten foreign players in a La Liga game.

Never has a Barcelona side boasted so many non-Spanish players in a starting eleven as the Catalan giants have always adopted a home-grown player policy.

South American stars Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar helped Barcelona to victory after a bright start gave way to a difficult game.

Messi scored his 145th brace for his club on his 600th career appearance as Barcelona just about did enough to see off Leganes.

0 Response to "Live Commentary: Barcelona 2-1 Leganes - as it happened"