Super Sub Messi Inspires Barca to Victory

Lionel Messi came off the bench to inspire La Liga leaders Barcelona to victory over Leganes as they maintain the pace in La Liga

Rave of the moment Ousmane Dembele fired in to give the champions a first-half lead after good combination play with Jordi Alba.

But Martin Braithwaite, on loan from Middlesbrough, tapped in the equaliser for his second goal in two games after he scored the winner against Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey.

Dembele was superb on the night

Messi and Ivan Rakitic were introduced not long after, although Barcelona suffered another blow when the sparkling Dembele came off with an ankle injury.

Despite that setback Barcelona reasserted their control and took the lead once more when Cuellar failed to deal with Messi’s strike, allowing Luis Suarez to poke in.

And in stoppage time, Messi made certain of the points with a fierce right-foot finish after neat build-up with Alba.

The result moves Ernesto Valverde’s team to 46 points from 20 games, five ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid with arch-rivals Real Madrid third with 36 points.

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