Luis Suarez ends goal drought as Barcelona ease to win over Leganes
Butarque, La Liga - Leganes 0 Barcelona 3 (Suarez 28', 60', Paulinho 90')
Barcelona opened up a seven-point lead at the top of La Liga as Luis Suarez bagged a brace in a comfortable 3-0 win over Leganes.
The Uruguayan striker ended a goalscoring drought with his opportunistic double, with Paulinho also adding his name to the scoreline late on. Leganes put up a fight, showing promise at times, but ultimately Barca’s quality shone through.
Gerard Pique picked up a booking that will keep him out of next week’s top of the table clash with Valencia at the Mestalla, but besides that, this was almost the perfect outcome for the Catalans, who look every bit the champions in-waiting.
They lead over Real Madrid could grow even wider later this evening, with the Spanish champions at the Metropolitano to face rivals Atletico Madrid. The result in that game could see Barca tighten their grip even further on top spot.
TALKING POINT - Has Paulinho replaced Andres Iniesta in the Barcelona lineup?
The signing of the former Spurs midfielder was widely mocked during the summer. But Paulinho has more than proved himself for Barcelona over the past few weeks and months. In fact, the introduction of the Brazilian in the second half saw the Catalans improve as a side, bringing Lionel Messi into the game.
He came on for Andres Iniesta, so should Paulinho now be considered a first team figure over the great playmaker? There’s a case to be made.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
Suarez came into this game on the back of a goalscoring drought, recovering from a knee injury over the international break as well. But this was more like it from the former Liverpool striker, scoring twice and giving the Catalans the kind of cutting edge they needed. It still wasn’t Suarez at his absolute best, but the signs were there that he is recovering his form.
Luis Suárez celebra un gol del BarcelonaGetty Images
11’ SUAREZ INJURY? The Barcelona striker looks to be hobbling slightly. Of course, he has been struggling with a knee knock. Maybe it's worse than the player himself realised.
27’ GOAL! Leganes 0-1 Barcelona: The goal drought is over for Suarez and he was gifted it! Cuellar fumbled a cross straight into the path of the Barcelona striker, who made no mistake in lashing home a finish to make the most of the error.
52’ CHANCE FOR LEGANES! Beauvue was played through on the Barcelona goal, with Ter Stegen making the save to deny him from restoring parity. That was a key moment in this match.
60’ GOAL! Leganes 0-2 Barcelona: That's a big goal for both Suarez and Barcelona! Cuellar palmed the shot out to the Barcelona striker, whose shot ended up in the back of the net via a deflection. This game should now be out of sight for the away side!
73’ WHAT A CHANCE! Vidal really should have scored a third for Barcelona. The ball fell to him about 18 yards out, but he sliced wide of the target. What an opportunity for the right back.
87’ OFF THE POST! Messi comes within inches of finding the net and scoring a third for Barcelona. His effort comes back off the post and Suarez's shot is saved on the rebound.
89’ GOAL! Leganes 0-3 Barcelona: And there's the third for Barcelona. Paulinho has scored it, with the Brazilian poking the ball home into the empty net after good play from Messi at the byline.
Only Leo Messi (11) has scored more braces than Luis Suarez (5) in La Liga this year.
Barcelona haven't lost in their last six league games after international break.