1/21/2019 12:46:05 AM

Barcelona beat Leganes 3-1 to restore their lead in La Liga

Barcelona beat Leganes 3-1 to restore their lead in La Liga

Barcelona: Lionel Messi started on the bench on Sunday, but Barcelona still looked good to beat Leganes 3-1 and restored their lead at the top of La Liga to five points.

Ousumane Dembele scored in the 33rd minute, but Martin Braithwaite cancelled it out in the 57th just five minutes after Messi was introduced.

However, Luis Suarez smashed home a rebound following a blast by Messi to earn back the lead for Barcelona.

Messi lived up to his form and added the third in the injury time.

Barca had not reported any injury to their star striker before kick-off at the Camp Nou. Ernesto Valverde may have opted to rest the Argentinian in the middle of a busy period of the season.

Barcelona face two midweek games against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey quarterfinals, either side of league fixtures against Girona and Valencia.

It was only the third time this term that Messi has not been named in the team, after Barca drew the previous two matches against Athletic Bilbao and Tottenham.

Ivan Rakitic was also a substitute against Leganes as Thomas Vermaelen and the 21-year-old Carles Alena were handed starting spots.

Defender Clement Lenglet was left out of the squad. The Frenchman is suffering from muscle fatigue, according to reports in the Spanish press.

Barcelona have won their last six La Liga matches in a row. They had their lead at the top of the table cut to two points after Atletico Madrid beat Huesca 3-0 on Saturday.

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