Messi outshines Dembele in 3-1 Barcelona win over Leganes
Barcelona striker Leo Messi (r.) gets away from Leganes defender Kenneth Omeruo during the Spanish La Liga match at Camp Nou Stadium on Jan. 20, 2019, won by Barcelona 3-1. EFE-EPA/ Marta Perez
Barcelona striker Leo Messi (r.) vies for the ball with Leganes midfielder Mikel Vesga during the Spanish La Liga match at Camp Nou Stadium on Jan. 20, 2019, won by Barcelona 3-1. EFE-EPA/ Marta Perez
Barcelona striker Leo Messi (c.) celebrates his game-winning goal during the Spanish La Liga match against Leganes at Camp Nou Stadium on Jan. 20, 2019, won by Barcelona 3-1. EFE-EPA/ Marta Perez
Barcelona, Jan 20 (efe-epa).- What started out as the first big night for Ousmane Dembele with Barcelona turned into another shining exhibition by Leo Messi, who was only half an hour in the game but time enough for him to power the team to a 3-1 win over Leganes.
Messi watched the first 66 minutes of the game from the bench, a disappointment for many fans like the one who said "I traveled 5,000 miles to see this soccer legend," and couldn't believe his bad luck.
But everything changed when Messi took to the field, where until then Ousmane Dembele had been the team leader, and who kicked off the scoring at minute 32 by finishing off a pass from Jordi Alba.
Dembele's eighth goal in La Liga above all served for the Frenchman to regain faith in himself.
Leganes was still in the game, however, and at minute 57, Braithwaite controlled a pass from En-Nesyri and put a shot from the penalty box into the net: the match was all tied up at 1-1. The tie changed Barca coach Valverde's ideas, so that seven minutes later he decided to put Messi and Rakitic in to replace Aleña and Arthur.
But there were more complications: Dembele, who had been Barca's top player until then, left the game with an injury at minute 66.
Five minutes later, with Messi now in the game, Barcelona struck again. He booted the ball, Cuellar blocked it and Luis Suarez took over to make the score 2-1 at minute 71.
And it was Messi who finally won the game, working with Jordi Alba to slam the ball into the net at minute 92.