Ahead of their La Liga clash with Leganes, Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde hinted that Lionel Messi was due a rest.
Barca have a pretty hectic schedule over the next couple of weeks with a two-legged clash with Sevilla in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals and some important league clashes.
And Valderde identified the home clash against 14th-placed Leganes as the perfect opportunity to give the Argentine superstar a bit of a break.
"It's possible that he might not play one of the upcoming games,” Valderve said before the match.
"We're reaching the point when we start to count down matches. We need to be stronger than ever to achieve our objectives.
"The fixture list is tough, we know this month is tough. We'll have to make some changes and look at certain situations. We need to be smart when rotating."
But Messi had to be called upon after 64 minutes against Leganes with the scores tied at 1-1. He soon helped his side to a 3-1 victory, rounding off the match with an injury-time goal.
But before Messi’s introduction, one man seemed to be flourishing in his absence.
Ousmane Dembele’s first-half performance vs Leganes was simply sensational.
The Frenchman scored the opening goal of the game and humiliated several defenders with his ridiculous feet.
There were filthy nutmegs and a piece of skill so good that it sent Dimitrios Siovas crashing to the floor.
Unfortunately, Dembele went off injured in the 69th-minute after twisting his ankle awkwardly.
After the game, the club confirmed that Dembele had strained his ankle and would undergo tests.
"The player Ousmane Dembélé has a sprained left ankle, and on Monday he will have more tests to know the exact extent of the injury," the club said.
But let’s take a few minutes to appreciate what was an incredible 69-minute performance.
DEMBELE'S HIGHLIGHTS VS LEGANES
Check out Dembele’s highlights:
Take a bow, Ousmane.
Dembele’s first-half goal also brought up a pretty remarkable stat.
It was his 40th first-team goal for club and country and he has now scored 20 with his left foot and 20 with his right foot.
The 21-year-old is some talent.News Now - Sport News