MX23RW : Tuesday, December 18 21:54:48
Nov 18, 2017 at 3.15pm UK at ​Estadio Municipal de Butarque (Leganés)
Attendance: 11,454
FT(HT: 0-1)
Suarez (28', 60'), Paulinho (90')

Live Commentary: Leganes 0-3 Barcelona - as it happened

Relive Barcelona's win at Leganes with Sports Mole's live text coverage.

Barcelona moved seven points clear at the top of La Liga thanks to a 3-0 win away to Leganes.

The Catalan giants were second best for much of the first half, but took the lead through Luis Suarez against the run of play.

Leganes gave a good account of themselves but fell further behind on the hour mark when Suarez struck again, before Paulinho added a third in the final minute.

Find out how the action unfolded with Sports Mole's text updates below.

2.16pmHello and welcome to our live text coverage of Barcelona's visit to Leganes on what could prove to be a pivotal weekend in La Liga. Barca have the chance to extend their lead over defending champions Real Madrid at the top of the table to a whopping 11 points ahead of tonight's Madrid derby. Team news from Estadio Municipal de Butarque is on the way...

2.20pmLEGANES XI: Cuellar, Siovas, Munoz, Diego Rico, Joseba Zaldua, Javier Eraso, Gabriel, Perez, Amrabat, Szymanowski, El Zhar

2.22pmBARCA XI: Ter Stegen, Umtiti, Pique, Alba, Semedo, Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta, Alcacer, Suarez, Messi

2.24pmThe big new as far as those lineups are concerned is a place for Luis Suarez in Barca's starting XI. The former Liverpool hitman was a fitness doubt ahead of the game, having sat out Uruguay's friendlies against Poland and Austria during the international break, but he's back in action this afternoon, resuming his formidable striking partnership with Lionel Messi.

2.28pmBarcelona are completely unchanged from the side that defeated Seville last time out. Paco Alcacer's reward for his brace that day is another start alongside Messi and Suarez, while the continued absence of Andre Gomes paves the way for Andres Iniesta to continue in the centre of the park. Nelson Semedo is filling in at right-back again, alongside Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti and Jordi Alba.

2.32pmHosts Leganes welcome back Ruben Perez, who will play in a holding midfield position, while Ezequiel Munoz is favoured over Mauro Dos Santos in central defence. Top scorer Alexander Szymanowski is fit to face table-topping Barca and will partner former Watford man Nordin Amrabat up front.

2.36pmThis is a big weekend in La Liga. Barca are eight points clear of defending champions and bitter rivals Real Madrid, who have a tough fixture to contend with this evening when they face city rival Atletico Madrid. Los Blancos face the prospect of heading into that high-stakes contest 11 points adrift of the summit.

2.40pmAlthough Ernesto Valverde has set out a stall with dominance and control in mind, his side has one of the most resilient defences in La Liga to unpick this afternoon. Leganes have kept seven clean sheets in 11 matches this term - only Barca themselves and Atletico Madrid have a better record than that.

2.44pmThat said, their form took a hit recently with back-to-back losses to Sevilla and Valencia. Five of the eight goals they have let in this season came during those matches, though at home, they've conceded just once in five games. Will their form at Estadio Municipal de Butarque help them stop the rot against a Barca side that have won 14 times out of 16 in all competitions this season? It's a big ask.

2.48pmA big ask, but not impossible. Under Valverde, Barca look like a much steadier ship than they were during Luis Enrique's final season in charge, but they've looked fallible too. Both Getafe and Sevilla made them work for scraped wins recently, though it must be said, they seem to have a knack for getting the job done.

2.52pmValverde has the Catalan giants scoring for fun. Their tally of 30 goals is the joint-best in the division, and much of that is because Lionel Messi has been at his devastating best, with 12 strikes so far this term. His strike partner Luis Suarez, however, has been off the boil of late.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi celebrates scoring during his side's Champions League group game against Juventus at the Camp Nou on September 12, 2017© Offside

2.56pmThere isn't too much shared history between these two, since they haven't spent a great deal of time in the same division. Last season, Barca claimed a league double over then-newly-promoted Leganes, thrashing them 5-1 on this ground before scraping a 2-1 win at the Camp Nou thanks to a last-minute penalty from Messi.

3.00pmPREDICTION: Barca are the clear favourites this afternoon, and with good reason, but one of the steeliest defences in La Liga won't be easy for them to unlock. I think Leganes will make it difficult for them, and even cause them a few issues at the other end of the park, but ultimately the visitors will nick this 1-0.

3.04pmHere's what the managers had to say ahead of the game...

3.08pmVALVERDE: "What concerns us about Leganes is that they concede very few goals. At home they have conceded in only one of the five games they've played. It's a team that supports each other and believe in what they do. They have enthusiasm and they transmit that to each other. We'll have to do well to win because it's the start of a very difficult run from here until Christmas."

Ernesto Valverde head coach of Athletic Bilbao during the first leg of UEFA Champions League qualifying play-offs round match between SSC Napoli and Athletic Club on August 19, 2014© Getty Images

3.10pmGARITANO: "This season I hope to find a better version than the Leganes of last season and compete in these kinds of games, which would be a big step for us. Our opponents scored five against us last season and the fans were happy and applauded, which is bad. But that was last year. Now I hope that opposing teams are all finding it much harder, and that Leganes are getting better all the time." (via ESPN).

3.12pmJust moments to go ahead of kick off now. Can Barca extend their lead over Real to 11 points ahead of the Madrid derby? Stay tuned to find out...

3.15pmKICK OFF: The match is underway at the Estadio Municipal Butarque.

3 minBarca have started the match in confident fashion, seeing plenty of early possession. They're holding the ball up in midfield at the moment, searching for gaps in this usually water-tight Leganes defence.

6 minBarcelona are lined up in a slightly different shape than what we're used to this afternoon. It looks like a 4-3-3 formation, with Alcacer on the right, Messi on the left and Suarez playing in the centre of a front three. Iniesta, Rakitic and Busquets are the midfield trio.

7 minThere's a half-chance for the visitors as Alcacer crosses towards the back post where Suarez is lurking. The Uruguayan goes for an ambitious overhead head, but his effort is blocked. Leganes have seen very little of the ball so far, but that's as close as Barca have come to doing anything with their swathes of possession.

12 minLeganes cut out a cross before it can find Nelson Semedo at the far post and Barca claim the first corner of the afternoon. They play it short to Iniesta, who takes a touch and attempts to float a lofted pass into the penalty area, but it's charged down and scrambled away.

14 minThe hosts have grown into the game a little these past few minutes and just won a corner of their own. It's headed clear by Suarez, but only as far as Alexander Szymanowski, who attempts to nod the ball back into the danger zone, only to hoist it out for a Barca goalkick.

16 minLeganes are taking the game to Barca now. The visitors attempted to assert themselves and control the match early on, but the home side almost hit them with a counter there. Javier Eraso leads the charge, but his final ball deflects off a Barca shirt and away from danger. Fortune favoured the Catalan giants there!

20 minCHANCE! The first meaningful effort of the match falls Leganes' way. Former Watford man Amrabat does well to swivel between Gerard Pique and Rakitic after making a mazy run along the left wing. He cuts inside and shoots, but his effort curls high and wide.

24 minThere's another half-chance for Leganes, who are having the better of the possession at the moment. Amrabat goes on another surging run and squares a pass to Gabriel Pires on the edge of the box, only for his teammate to shoot wide. No shots on target from either side yet, but good pressure from the hosts, who don't look like they're going to be bullied this afternoon.

28 minGOAL! Leganes 0-1 Barcelona (Luis Suarez)

28 minBarcelona take the lead, against the run of play and under fortuitous circumstances. Alcacer plays in a cross from wide on the right, which Ivan Cuellar completely misreads. The Laganes keeper quickly recovers and parries the ball away, but only as far as Suarez in front of goal, allowing the Uruguayan to put away a tap-in.

32 minIt's been all Barca since they took the lead, with the visitors holding up the ball well, just as they did in the opening stages of the match. Gerard Pique picked up the first yellow card of the match a moment ago, and that means he will be suspended for the upcoming trip to Valencia.

35 minCHANCE! Marc-Andre ter Stegen hasn't been given a great deal to do so far, but he pulls off a brilliant save when tested by Szymanowski just now. Amrabat uses his strength to hold up the ball on the left channel before picking out the striker on the edge of the box. He has the time and space to place his shot, and he aims for the far corner, but Barca's German goalkeeper meets it with a strong hand at full stretch and palms it away.

39 minThe two teams are seeing plenty of possession, but for the most part, they've cancelled each other out today, each limiting their opponents to precious few chances. In typical Valverde fashion, Barca are doing just enough to get the job done and have been workman-like in their approach to the match. Amrabat has been Leganes' best player, and really should have been closed down more in the first period.

43 minBoth sides are prodding and poking as half time approaches. First, what looks like a promising Barcelona attack breaks down when Alcacer gives the ball away cheaply in the Leganes half. Moments later, Szymanowsk flashes a lofted pass across the face of the vistors' goal, which would only have needed the faintest of touches to become an equaliser, but it rebounds behind off a Barca shirt for a corner, which is wasted.

45 minHALF TIME: Leganes 0-1 Barcelona

4.08pmBarcelona head into the break with a slender lead thanks to a Luis Suarez strike, but that arguably came against the run of play. Leganes have created the better chances, despite the visitors' bossing possession for sporadic spells, without really creating anything in front of goal.

4.12pmAmrabat has been a creative force for the hosts, troubling the Barca defence on a handful of occasions with mazy runs. He's linked up well with Szymanowsk, who looked imposing in the final third during the first half. Closing down both of those players is imperative for Barca in the second half.

4.16pmBarca need to bring Messi into the game more, get more service to the Argentine up front. Creative players like Iniesta will be the key to that, but Leganes take their defensive duties seriously and have kept the midfielder and Barcelona's front trio quiet so far.

46 minKICK OFF: The match is back underway at Estadio Municipal de Butarque.

48 minLeganes made an change at the break, throwing on forward Claudio Beauvue for Javier Eraso. That's an attacking change for the hosts, who clearly feel Barca are there for the taking this afternoon. They've played fearlessly against the Catalan giants, and that is reflected in their positive tactics.

52 minCHANCE! Beauvue gets his first taste of goalmouth action after latching onto a ball over the top from strike partner Amrabat. He does well to get away from his marker, but his shot is straight at Ter Stegen, who stands tall and makes the block.

53 minBOOKING! Barca's goalscorer Luis Suarez is shown the yellow card for a push on Cuella, but the foul should have been awarded the other way around. Replays show that Cuella went in late on Suarez, while the Uruguayan merely reacted to the botched challenge.

55 minLeganes continue to play high-pressing football, hoisting the ball into that final third at every opportunity. This time it falls kindly for Pires to swing at just outside the area. His shot is on target, but once again, it's straight at Ter Stegen.

59 minMost people were predicting Barca would walk this match, but it's them who have found themselves on the back foot in the second period. If Leganes had been that bit more clinical this afternoon, we could be looking at a shock scoreline.

60 minGOAL! Leganes 0-2 Barcelona (Luis Suarez)

60 minBarca net a second against the run of play, and just like their first, it was't the prettiest goal you'll ever see. Substitute Aleix Vidal's initial strike is parried by Cuellar, who gets to his feet quickly, anticipating a rebound. That falls to Suarez, who drills a half-volley back towards goal, beating the Leganes keeper with the help of a horrible deflection.

64 minThe end-to-end actions tells the story of this match much more accurately than the 2-0 scoreline. A blistering Barca break is stopped in its tracks at one end as Cuellar races off his line to claim a cross, moments before Amrabat dances around Pique, only to be thwarted by Ter Stegen in a one-on-one situation.

67 minThere's a half-chance for the hosts as a stray pass ends up in the path of Joseba Zaldua, who shoots first time, his effort soaring harmlessly wide of the far post.

71 minEl Zhar unleashes an ambitious strike from the edge of the box, but Umtiti is on hand to make a vital block. Moments earlier, Zaldua's cross picks out the run of Beauvue in the penalty area, but he slices at the ball on the turn, blazing it over. Leganes are looking deflated now.

75 minDimitrios Siovas is shown the yellow card for pulling back Luis Suarez. Moments later, a shooting opportunity falls to Alcacer at the Leganes end. His effort is blocked, but the deflection lands kindly for Vidal to smash, but he skews his shot well wide of the far post.

79 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Leganes make their final change, with Dimitrios Siovas replacing by Raul Garcia. Barca replace Paco Alcacer with Denis Suarez in their final change minutes later.

83 minBarcelona have upped the tempo in the closing stages, winning a free kick in a dangerous position for a foul on Messi. They squander the free kick, but haven't let up, retaining possession in the final third. It's difficult to see Leganes pulling a goal back here.

87 minThere's chances at both ends as Diego Rico tests Ter Stegen with a well-hit free kick that was directed straight at the German. At the other end, Messi, who has had a quiet afternoon by his own high standards, tests Cuellar with a left-footed strike that's heading straight for the bottom corner. The rebound falls to Suarez, but he misses the target from close range under pressure from his marker.

90 minGOAL! Leganes 0-3 Barcelona (Paulinho)

90 minBarca net their third in the final minute of the match. Messi is the creator, chasing down a long ball. His marker forces him wide, but not before he pulls off a deft flick to deflect the ball into the path of the onrushing Paulinho, who slides home to cap off this victory.

90 minFULL TIME: Leganes 0-3 Barcelona

5.14pmBarcelona win it comfortably in the end, but for lengthy spells of this match, it was anything but. Leganes gave a good account of themselves but Barca's ability to grind out results under Ernesto Valverde in workman-like fashion has seen them home and dry today. Two for Suarez and one for Paulinho has put them 11 points clear of Real Madrid ahead of tonight's Madrid derby, and seven ahead of Valencia in second.

5.17pmThat's all we have time for at Estadio Municipal de Butarque, but be sure to stick with Sports Mole for live coverage of tonight's Madrid derby. That's sure to be a firecracker! Many thanks for reading.

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Landry N'Guemo of Cameroon controls the ball against Paulinho of Brazil during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Cameroon and Brazil at Estadio Nacional on June 23, 2014
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