Barcelona beat Leganes 2-1 with a last minute penalty from Lionel Messi in the Spanish first division on Sunday.

The result keeps them a point behind leaders Real Madrid, having played two games more, but they were nearly embarrassed by their fourth-from bottom opponents. 

Messi broke the deadlock in the fourth minute converting from inside the six-yard box from Luis Suarez’ pass.

But Leganes equalized on 71 minutes when Sergio Roberto gave the ball away and Unai Lopez scored past Marc Andre ter Stegen.

Ter Stegen saved twice from Nabil El Zhar and once from his Leganes strike partner Miguel Angel Guerrero as the minnows threatened to win the game.

But Messi saved his team's blushes by thundering home the penalty after Martin Mantovani had brought down Neymar on 89 minutes.

There was disunity in the stadium with some supporters chanting the name of Luis Enrique and the rest of the Camp Nou whistling the attempts at support for the under-fire coach.

"We have agreed to sit-down and talk in April. We are focused on the season now," Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu had said in an interview before the game.

“He is the coach we want. He has won almost everything possible. There is no plan B.”

Midfielder Andre Gomes was also whistled when he was taken off in the second half.

“I accept that they whistle me after what happened in Paris but it’s very important that the players feel the support of the fans," Luis Enrique said after the game.

“I know it’s difficult but they don’t need to be whistled right now. It does not help.

“They took advantage of our error to equalize but we got the win. We have to work hard at improving.

"We have time before our next game and I think that is important for us both mentally and physically. I am convinced that the situation is going to improve.

"To not win today would have been a definitive blow in the title race, maybe not in terms of points, but in terms of our spirit.

"But I am convinced that you will see the improvement in the next game against Atletico Madrid."

Leganes coach Asier Garitano lamented the lost opportunity. “I don’t know if we missed the chance to make history but certainly to take a point from the game,” he said.

“It cannot have been easy after losing 4-0 in midweek to play a team like Leganes that nobody expects to take anything from the game.”

Earlier Sunday, Villarreal beat Real Sociedad 1-0 in the battle of the teams currently in the Europa League places.

Samuel Castillejo scored from Jaume Costa's pass on the 93rd minute to give the visitors all three points.

Villarreal remain sixth in the table but close the gap on fifth-placed Real Sociedad to just two points.

Also on Sunday Valencia beat Athletic Bilbao 2-0 and Celta Vigo were 3-0 winners against Osasuna.

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