Leganés record historic LaLiga victory against Barcelona
Leganés and manager Mauricio Pellegrino did not come into Wednesday’s match against LaLiga title-holders FC Barcelona in the best of form. Without a win and only one point from their first five matches of the season did not have confidence at a high level, but all that changed in a thrilling second half to produce a magical 2-1 victory.
Philippe Coutinho gave Barcelona the lead early on, and many would have expected more goals to come for the visitors. Despite the majority of possession and chances in the opposing half, Lega’s defense did well in limiting the Blaugrana to only nine shots. A somewhat lazy showing from Barcelona, Pellegrino’s side made them pay dearly for that approach.
Two goals in as many minutes from Nabil El Zhar (52’) and Óscar Rodriguez (53’) delivered three massive points for the Madrid club and could be the spark that gets the season moving in the right direction for the squad.
Dating back to 1928, Leganés are currently in the midst of only their third top-flight campaign in club history. A side that battled for several years in the Segunda Divisón B (third tier of Spanish football) only recently, Wednesday’s result is a remarkable accomplishment and truly their greatest LaLiga scoreline.
This past January, Lega secured their first semi-final place ever in the Copa del Rey, defeating Real Madrid at the Estadio Bernabéu in the quarter-finals. There is a strong argument for that being a more significant moment, but knocking off LaLiga’s champion is an entirely different story.
For a club facing a relegation battle in 2018-19, Wednesday's result can potentially be the start of something special. Leganés may have difficult days still ahead of them in the first division. However, after taking down Barcelona, the fans (and Super Pepino) know that anything is possible.