Barcelona 2-0 Leganes: Report, ratings and reaction as Barça extend La Liga lead

Barcelona put the pressure back on Real Madrid in the La Liga title race as they overcame a strong Leganes side 2-0 on Tuesday night.

It was the visitors – boasting a starting XI with just one La Liga goal between them – who started brightly and would have taken an early lead had Clement Lenglet been notable for setting up both Javier Arasu and Miguel. There would have been no defensive arrangement. warrior.

Leganes defended strongly in the opening period, with Ansu Fati’s opener the first shot on target for Barcelona / Alex Caparros/Getty Images

The Catalans struggled in early possession, as Leganes were compact in their 5-4-1 and provided minimal space in central areas. Javier Aguirre’s men did a good job of limiting Lionel Messi’s influence on proceedings in the opening period which ultimately led to a less potent attacking display overall.

Thus, with Leganes making a concerted effort to keep Messi at bay, 17-year-old Ansu Fati took matters into his own hands with a superb performance from inside the area to give Barcelona the lead after some determined work down the left. decided. Impressive Junior Furpo.

Aguirre’s switch to two up top failed to change the dynamic of the contest after the break, as the visitors continued to defend well but offered little at the other end.

Messi was at his best in the second period to earn his team a penalty shootout/Alex Kapros/Getty Images

The visitors’ struggles meant a second was inevitable, and it was a bit of magic from Messi that helped the Catalans get it. The Argentine fought his way through a host of challenges to progress to the edge of the Lakers box from halfway, before being brought down inside the area when he combined with Luis Suarez to get a pass back. of

A soft call, but Messi nonetheless made no mistake from 12 yards to double the home side’s lead, which they held until the final whistle.

Key talking point

Antoine Griezmann struggled to make an impact on Tuesday night / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Poor old Antoine Griezmann, huh?

The Frenchman’s move to Catalonia last summer raised questions about whether he would be a systematic fit, and those questions have been fully justified.

After being forced out for most of Ernesto Valverde’s tutelage this term, Suarez’s long-term injury gave Griezmann the chance to impress Setien into a more familiar central role – but it just didn’t work, with the Frenchman filling the gaps. But he did his best. In which Messi usually comes.

He has little room to do what he does best and acts as a false nine, while he is often anonymous in Barça’s build-up play and is often blocked when he tries to run back. Teammates rarely see him. That was certainly not the case at Atleti.

He struggled against Mallorca, and was disappointing again on Tuesday – and once a team-mate found him in a dangerous position, his finish was ruled out by VAR for offside in the build-up. The hard truth is that Martin Braithwaite is a better fit for Setien than Griezmann right now.

Starting XI: Ter Stegen (7); Roberto (6), Peck (6), Langlet (6), Furpo (8*); Busquets (6), Rakitic (6), Arthur (5); Messi (7), Griezmann (5), Fati (7)

Vegetables: Semedo (7), Suarez (6), Vidal (6), Puig (7), Umtiti (5)

The man already written off by many may have enjoyed his best outing in Barcelona colors on Tuesday night.

Junior Firpo was the best player on the pitch for me tonight, very confident in his ability, very solid defensively and offensively, it was a joy to watch his link up play with tears in his eyes, they have a real understanding of each other and There is a relationship. Play.

— Josh Bunting (@Buntingfootball) June 16, 2020

While we’re at it, let’s not forget that Junior Firpo has been very solid today, both offensively and defensively.

– ?????? (@Ahmedz_21) June 16, 2020

The junior was impressive at both ends of the pitch. Leganes showed good understanding with Fati – linking up effectively with the 17-year-old – when he tried to switch to the right.

He was an outlet down the left wing, especially in the early stages, when Fati moved in as Barcelona tried to penetrate either flank with play-out switches.

Setien, Firpo’s former boss at Betis, could be the man to get the best out of the talented 23-year-old at the Camp Nou.

Starting XI: neck (6); Ruibel (5), Tareen (6), Awazim (7), Bustanza (7), Silva (6); Recio (6), Perez (6), Mesa (6), Eraso (5); warrior (5)

Vegetables: Assale (6), Amadou (6), Rodrigues (5), Carillo (6), Brian (6)

Barcelona face a trip to third-placed Sevilla on Friday before hosting Athletic Club four days later. Leganes, meanwhile, have relegation on their next six-pointer as they travel to Mallorca on Friday night.

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