Leganes 1-2 Barcelona: 5 Talking Points & Tactical Analysis | La Liga 2019-20
Barcelona scraped past Leganes in a tense encounter at the Butarque. The victory enabled the visitors to solidify their position at the top of the La Liga table while the hosts missed an opportunity to climb out of the relegation zone.
The home side started the better of the two sides and immediately pressed the Blaugrana into mistakes. And, Leganes were rewarded for their endeavours in the 12th minute when Youssef En-Nesyri curled in a sumptuous shot off the right channel.
The hosts controlled the game for the remainder of the opening 45 minutes to enter the tunnel with their one-goal lead intact.
After the restart, Barcelona upped the ante just a tad and were willing to throw more men forward in search of an equaliser. In the 53rd minute, Luis Suarez nodded home Lionel Messi’s free-kick to restore parity and establish a foothold in the encounter.
With 11 minutes remaining, Arturo Vidal capitalised on some shaky defending to stab home the winner and spare the Blaugrana’s blushes
Here is a look at the talking points from the match.
#5 Barcelona produce a woeful first-half performance
Barcelona came into the game against Leganes at the top of the table and several expected them to dispatch the hosts with ease, especially considering the latter had been languishing at the foot of the La Liga ladder.
However, rather surprisingly, the Blaugrana played like a team struggling in the bottom half whereas Leganes showed the requisite courage and determination to surge ahead in the opening period.
The visitors looked off the pace from the outset and were hustled and harried in the early exchanges. One such moment led to Sergio Busquets giving the ball away before Roque Mesa blazed his shot over the bar.
Thereafter, Leganes were content to press Barcelona in midfield, rather than high up the pitch, meaning that the away side enjoyed plenty of the ball in the defensive and middle third.
Yet, they weren’t able to carve open the hosts’ defence as their build-up play lacked tempo, ideas and conviction.
On numerous occasions, the Blaugrana just pinged the ball across the pitch without ever trying to penetrate the home side’s defensive lines. And, even though Leganes did well to minimise the space in between the midfield and defence, Barcelona were guilty of not stretching the play adequately.
Additionally, they gifted possession to the hosts several times, meaning that the latter counter-attacked at pace and put the away side under strife.
More worryingly though, Barcelona didn’t look like a team capable of either breaching the Leganes rear-guard nor did they seem an outfit that was well-equipped to keep things tight at the back. The Blaugrana were second to every loose ball and that contributed to the hosts generating a head of steam, one that helped them control the first half.
Over the past few months, Ernesto Valverde’s side has produced some awful displays away from home. And, one wouldn’t be too wrong if one mentioned the first-half performance against Leganes in the same breath.