September 26, 2018 / 7:54 PM / 2 months ago

Soccer-Barcelona stunned by defeat at lowly Leganes

MADRID, Sept 26 (Reuters) - La Liga leaders Barcelona slumped to a shock first loss of the season as they suffered a 2-1 defeat at struggling Leganes on Wednesday after conceding twice in two second-half minutes.

Philippe Coutinho gave the champions the lead in the 12th minute with a classy volley and Lionel Messi smacked a shot against the bar as Barca, resting Jordi Alba and Luis Suarez, made a strong start against Leganes, who began the game bottom of the table with one point.

Barca’s seemingly comfortable hold on the game dramatically fell apart shortly after the interval when Nabil El Zhar headed home a looping cross in the 52nd minute and 20-year-old Oscar Rodriguez turned in a second goal barely sixty seconds later.

Leganes goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar pulled off a stunning double save to thwart Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic from close range in the closing minutes while Sergi Roberto skied a good opportunity as the unfancied hosts held on to record their first top-flight win over Barcelona.

Barca remained top of the standings but could slip three points behind Real Madrid into second spot if Julen Lopetegui’s side win at Sevilla later on Wednesday. (Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond)

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