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Barcelona 2-0 Leganes: Messi penalty and Ansu strike Fati strike send Setien’s men five points clear of Real Madrid

Goals from Ansu Fati and Lionel Messi proved decisive as Barcelona made hard work of a 2-0 home win over Leganes to further boost their LaLiga title hopes.

The Blaugrana had not been as convincing as the scoreline suggested when they thrashed 4-0 Real Mallorca away at the weekend, and they toiled against another struggling outfit on Tuesday

But Quique Setien’s side secured another three points after Fati – Barca’s standout star – broke the deadlock three minutes before half-time. 

Messi then scored his 699th goal for club and country from the penalty spot as Barca extended their advantage at the top of the table to five points, at least until Real Madrid host Valencia on Thursday.

Leganes coach Javier Aguirre was shown a red card in stoppage time, seemingly for dissent, on a frustrating evening for the bottom side.

Barca, who took just 65 seconds to score against Mallorca on Saturday, had been fortunate not to faLell behind to Leganes early on.

Miguel Angel Guerrero twice beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen from the right-hand side of the penalty area, only to be denied by first Clement Lenglet, retreating to his goal line, and then the outside of the far post.

The Catalan giants were clinical when their moment came late in an otherwise frustrating first half, though, as Fati fired a sweet low finish into the bottom-right corner from just inside the box.

The officials then took centre stage in the second period, with the VAR asked to assess a pair of controversial moments in quick succession.

Antoine Griezmann saw a goal ruled out when replays showed Nelson Semedo was a step offside before crossing for his team-mate to tuck into the net.

But Barca did not need to wait long for their second, as Messi held off a series of robust challenges before going down just inside the area under minimal contact to win a penalty that he dispatched following another video review.

Aguirre saw red in the closing stages as toothless Leganes remained bottom.

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