Leganes scored a pair of goals in less than two minutes to defeat FC Barcelona 2-1 in La Liga and notch the club’s first-ever victory over the Spanish-league giants. Butarque Stadium seemed the perfect venue for Barça to bounce back from a disappointing 2-2 home draw on Sunday against Girona, especially considering the Catalans had defeated Leganes in both previous matches there and the Madrid club came into the contest in the last place with just one point over five matches, reports Efe news.
All seemed to be going according to plan when Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho received a pass from Argentine superstar Lionel Messi (playing in his 700th game with Barcelona) and volleyed a side-spinning shot out of the reach of Leganes net minder Ivan Cuellar and into the back of the net in the 12th minute on Wednesday night.
Messi then nearly doubled the visitors’ lead on a curling left-footed shot in the 17th minute that ricocheted off the top-left corner of the post. Leganes, however, started showing signs of being competitive late in the first half, with midfielder Oscar forcing goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to make a diving save with time winding down in the first half.
After the intermission, the home side then took control of the game with a pair of goals over a span of just 70 seconds against a Barça team that did a poor job defending the long ball. The first came when Jonathan Silva received a diagonal pass and sent in a well-placed cross to Moroccan midfielder Nabil El Zhar, who headed the ball into the back of the net past Ter Stegen in the 52nd minute.
Leganes struck again a minute later when an attempted clearance by veteran defender Gerard Pique went straight to Oscar, who deposited his shot into the upper part of the goal. The visitors still had 40 minutes to notch the equalizer but were stymied thanks to the heroics of Cuellar in the 80th minute.
The Leganes keeper first dived to his left to save a curling shot off the foot of Coutinho; the rebound went to Ivan Rakitic, whose leaping close-range attempt was tipped over the crossbar by a diving Cuellar.
Despite losing its first game of the young La Liga season, Barcelona (13 points) did not cede its position at the top of the standings because arch-rival Real Madrid fell 3-0 on Wednesday night to Sevilla.