UEFA Champions League

Messi comes off bench to help Barca beat Leganes 3-1

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Lionel Messi had to cut short a rare rest break to help Barcelona beat Leganes 3-1 and protect its five-point lead of the Spanish league on Sunday.

Messi came off the bench at Camp Nou with the score at 1-1 in the second half and set up a goal by Luis Suarez before adding one of his own.

In a month packed with matches and a Copa del Rey clash with Sevilla looming on Wednesday, coach Ernesto Valverde took the risk of leaving his best player on the bench against a Leganes side that had upset Barcelona 2-1 in September.