Barca suffer to beat Levante and remain four points adrift

A great Leo Messi scored two goals against a quality Levante side last night to keep Barca’s hopes alive in La Liga a week before the two greats clash at the Nou Camp in “el clasico”.

The Catalan giants were not at all comfortable throughout much of the game against a Levante side who were “up for it” and who were devoid of ideas with Iniesta sitting on the bench.

The “Blaugranas” suffered, but Guardiola’s team was able to turn things around and keep their hopes alive with Real Madrid leading by four points. Levante managed to cause Barca many problems and had lots of players behind the ball, which obviously caused grief for the Barca players especially after Levante scored first after a Sergio Busquets handball in the box.

The clash started as expected with the ball being passed around by Barcelona before an orderly Levante defense that gave lots of space to the visitors. The Catalans had the ball but couldn’t find any gaps or get closer to the goal to really cause any concern or danger to Levante’s keeper Munúa. There were too many players in the way – it seemed impossible!

For the Levante side it was business as usual with the long balls going up field to Koné and secondary gameplay from Barkero and Valdo. It has been the same approach from Levante since last August and this style of play has kept them in the select group at the top of the Spanish league table.

With three defenders, Barcelona had to work hard to neutralize any counter attacking from Levante – a team that didn’t have too much of the ball but created real problems when they did have it.

It was Levante however that opened the scoring after some gameplay that was totally off the script. A clear handball by Busquets in the penalty area after a corner was punished with a penalty halfway through the first half. Barcelona fans quickly protested but and Barkero converted the ball completely fooling Victor Valdés.

Nothing changed after that and a 1-o result for the home side was looking very good indeed. Levante remained the same and Barcelona had no choice but to press forward and have the patience to snatch an equalizer. Before the break Barca had no clear options for scoring.

After the break Cuenca came on for Xavi to play on the right. This shuffled Alexis into the centre of play and Fabregás dropped down a bit to lead the team. Shortly after, Pep found it necessary to resort to Iniesta, who came on for Pedro.

The dominance of Barcelona gradually started to grow growing and a lovely strike by Leo Messi opened the scoring for the Blaugranas.

Shortly afterwards Botelho was adjudged to have fouled Cuenca and the ref pointed to the spot after much protesting from the Levante side and its fans. Messi made no mistake with a superb strike that hit the keeper’s top left corner and gave him no chance!

With the score now at 1-2 in the Levante were forced to open up and Barca now found space available that wasn’t there before!

Levante took the initiative and Barca was worried that a late goal would hinder their chances. Apart from a shot that Valdés comfortably saved, a late Levante equalizer never came and Barca remain four points behind leaders Real Madrid.

About Aaron

My name's Aaron and I'm a great Barça fan. I like to tell it like it is and if there is something I don't like about the club or something that needs addressing, you'll know!

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