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Leganes 0-3 Barcelona: Suarez Scores Brace

In a match full of cut and thrust
from both sides at the Estadio
Butarque, Luis Suarez’s double was
enough to see off a brave and
spirited performance from Leganes.
The game started in unusual fashion
with a double-touch on the ball
meaning an immediate free-kick.
Barcelona settled the quicker of the
two sides and Suarez was unlucky
to have an early goal ruled out for
Jordi Alba’s offside assist.
The possession-based game that the
Catalans are known for was very
much in evidence in the opening
exchanges, but Leganes were alive
to every ball and sharp in the
On 19, a lack of concentration in
midfield from Ivan Rakitic allowed
Nordin Amrabat to nip in and
travel the length of Barcelona’s half
with the ball, but a poorly executed
finish kept the game goalless.
Though the visitors continued
having the lion’s share of play, a
doggedness from the hosts ensured
that Lionel Messi, in particular, was
crowded out of the game.
A wild right-footed volley from a
corner on 27 minutes was the
closest he’d come to getting his
name on the score sheet in the
opening 45.
In the next attack, a fierce goal
bound shot from Paco Alcacer
deceived keeper Ivan Cuellar, who
dropped the ball straight at the feet
of Suarez.
With the whole goal to aim at, the
Uruguayan made no mistake for his
first goal since scoring the equaliser
against Atletico Madrid.
Just a minute later, Gerard Pique
was handed a yellow card after
manhandling Amrabat, meaning the
centre-back is now out of the top-of-
the-table clash against Valencia in
week 13.
A great save by Marc-Andre ter
Stegen from Alexander
Szymanowski’s goal-bound shot
kept the status quo as the teams
headed into the break, and it was
the Argentinian who was involved
again on 44 with a whipped cross
that Eraso only just failed to
connect with.
Asier Garitano urged his team
forward at the beginning of the
second half and ter Stegen would
come up trumps again when Claudio
Beauvue was clean through.
At the opposite end, Cuellar
disgraced himself on 53 after
collecting the ball from a Barcelona
Handing off Suarez, he feigned
injury and suggested he’d been hit
in the face by the striker, an action
that saw the goal scorer yellow
Still Leganes poured forward in
search of an equaliser.
A double change just before the
hour saw Andres Iniesta and Nelson
Seemed depart for Barcelona,
Paulinho and Aleix VIdal taking
their places.
No sooner had they settled in than
the visitors went straight up the
other end to score a second, Suarez
on the mark again, thanks to a
wicked deflection to deceive
Messi and Alcacer were involved in
the build-up to a goal that was to
prove decisive, but Ter Stegen has
to take credit for the win too, after
yet another point-blank stop, from
Amrabat in the 63rd minute.
With some breathing space between
them, Barcelona calmed the game
down and left Leganes chasing
shadows for long periods.
A super, incisive move from the
visitors deserved better than Vidal’s
wild effort with the goal at his
mercy, but, fortunately for him,
there were no repercussions.
The final period of the match
drifted somewhat, with Barcelona
content to soak up the pressure and
try and hit their hosts on the break.
Paulinho capped of a fine victory
for the away side with the third
after Messi’s tenacity carved out the
It’s a vital win for the Blaugrana
that will keep them top no matter
what the result at the Estadio
Mestalla in the next league fixture.

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