Leganes 1-2 Barcelona: Vidal salvages late victory for LaLiga leaders

By Sports Desk November 23, 2019

Substitute Arturo Vidal rescued Barcelona with a scrappy late goal as the leaders of LaLiga recovered from an early setback to win 2-1 at bottom side Leganes on Saturday.

Barca boss Ernesto Valverde fielded an attacking line-up that included Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele in a 4-2-3-1 formation, but it did not look like paying off for large parts.

Leganes have won just once all season but the underdogs took the lead through Youssef En-Nesyri's sublime early strike, before the champions hit back in the second half.

Suarez dragged his side back on level terms and Vidal scored in fortuitous fashion 11 minutes from time to move Barca three points clear at the summit, the winning goal allowed to stand after a VAR check showed the midfielder was not offside due to the ball reaching him via a Leganes player.

Barcelona lost 2-1 at Leganes last season and were behind inside 12 minutes on this latest trip, En-Nesyri cutting inside on his left and curling the ball into the top-left corner.

Suarez wasted a couple of promising opportunities before forcing an excellent fingertip save from Ivan Cuellar with a header from Dembele's cross.

But the Uruguay international found a way through eight minutes into the second half after being left free on the edge of the six-yard box to head in Messi's free-kick.

Barcelona took control of the contest but were left frustrated until Vidal struck 22 minutes after being introduced from the bench.

Vidal was left in space to bundle the ball past Cuellar from close range after Dembele's corner deflected into his path, the touch off the leg of Ruben Perez ensuring the goalscorer was onside despite Leganes' protests.

Related items

  • Ibiza 1-2 Barcelona: Griezmann spares Setien's blushes with second-half brace Ibiza 1-2 Barcelona: Griezmann spares Setien's blushes with second-half brace

    Antoine Griezmann saved Barcelona from Copa del Rey humiliation as he scored a second-half double to see off Ibiza 2-1.

    Having made an impressive start to his tenure with a dominant 1-0 win over Granada in which Barca had 82 per cent of possession, Setien rested Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique for the trip to the Balearic island.

    LaLiga's pacesetters enjoyed similar superiority in terms of time on the ball, but appeared on course for an incredible upset defeat to the Segunda B club, who took the lead through a goal credited to Josep Caballe inside 10 minutes.

    Ibiza had chances to extend their advantage, but the hosts eventually ran out of steam and Griezmann levelled in the 72nd minute, before securing Barca's progression to the last 16 in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

    The third-tier club opened the scoring with a goal that will serve as an indelible moment in their history in just the ninth minute of proceedings.

    Rai Nascimento's pull-back from the left was met by Javi Perez who, after being allowed to ghost into the box by Riqui Puig, saw his shot deflected beyond Neto by Caballe.

    Neto was beaten again eight minutes later, but Angel Rodado's effort was correctly chalked off for his push on Clement Lenglet.

    Only the woodwork spared Barca further embarrassment as Rai's close-range effort hit the inside of the left-hand post and bounced out, with Neto palming Rodado's follow-up over the crossbar.

    Barca grew more dangerous in the second half and they finally found a way through when Frenkie de Jong fed Griezmann and the France international slotted home in confident fashion.

    Extra time looked an inevitability, but Barca were able to ensure they did not have to exert themselves for another half-hour as they found the winner in the fourth of six additional minutes.

    Jordi Alba was this time the man to send Griezmann clear and he made no mistake with a near-post finish that broke the hearts of a raucous home crowd.

    What does it mean? Setien's tinkering almost backfires

    Setien unsurprisingly shuffled his pack for the cup encounter, but a back three of Sergi Roberto, Lenglet and Junior Firpo always looked vulnerable, and so it proved. Barca were fortunate not to fall further behind in the first half and can count themselves very lucky not to have suffered an almighty humbling.

    A tale of two halves for Griezmann

    Griezmann had the fewest touches (18) of any Barca player in the first half but he contributed the two most important ones of the second to leave Setien breathing a sigh of relief.

    Puig caught napping

    Brought on for Ivan Rakitic at the weekend as Barca sought the winner against Granada, Puig looks set for an increased role at Barca under Setien, but this was a learning experience for the 20-year-old. He was at fault for the opener and was ineffective at the other end of the pitch, failing to create a single chance.

    What's next?

    Barca face a tricky trip to Mestalla to face Valencia on Saturday. For Ibiza, it's back to the challenge of earning promotion from Segunda B Group 1, in which they trail leaders Atletico Madrid 'B' by two points. Bottom club SS Reyes are next for Pablo Alfaro's men.

  • Ibiza 1 Barcelona 2: Griezmann spares Setien's blushes with second-half brace Ibiza 1 Barcelona 2: Griezmann spares Setien's blushes with second-half brace

    Antoine Griezmann saved Barcelona from Copa del Rey humiliation as he scored a second-half double to see off Ibiza 2-1.

    Having made an impressive start to his tenure with a dominant 1-0 win over Granada in which Barca had 82 per cent of possession, Setien rested Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique for the trip to the Balearic island.

    LaLiga's pacesetters enjoyed similar superiority in terms of time on the ball, but appeared on course for an incredible upset defeat to the Segunda B club, who took the lead through a goal credited to Josep Caballe inside 10 minutes.

    Ibiza had chances to extend their advantage, but the hosts eventually ran out of steam and Griezmann levelled in the 72nd minute, before securing Barca's progression to the last 16 in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

     

  • Hazard, Griezmann and Joao Felix headline record transfer spend in 2019 Hazard, Griezmann and Joao Felix headline record transfer spend in 2019

    FIFA has revealed a record amount was spent on transfers in 2019, with deals for Eden Hazard, Antoine Griezmann and Joao Felix topping the bill.

    A report issued by world football's governing body on Wednesday revealed $7.35billion (£5.6billion) was spent by clubs in the transfer market in 2019, an increase of 5.8 per cent on the previous year.

    The study also confirmed that English clubs spent the most, though the total figure of $1.52billion (£1.14billion) was a 22.1 per cent decrease from 2018.

    Joao Felix's €126million transfer from Benfica to Atletico Madrid – who sold Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona for €120m – was the biggest deal of 2019, while Hazard left Chelsea for Real Madrid in a deal reportedly worth €100m.

    Harry Maguire became the world's most expensive defender with a reported £80m switch from Leicester City to Manchester United, while Ajax sold young stars Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong to Juventus and Barcelona respectively for an initial €75m each.

    There was also a rise of 16.3 per cent in spending in the women's game, with over 800 transfers made in total.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.