Levante 2 – 3 Barca: Stubborn Levante unable to contain Xavi’s fluid Barca in epic thriller

Luuk de Jong & Pedri on target as Catalans come from behind to stun home crowd twice.

Levante and Barca played out what looked like a disconnected first half sizing each other up, almost like a tactical wrestling with nothing much at the offense to show for it. As the first half reached its ultimate, it felt like both teams were comfortable with the way scores were.

However, in the early 11 minutes of the second half saw, Levante upped the tempo. They were rewarded with a penalty which they scored in the 52nd minute through Jose Luis Morales before missing a second in the 55th.  Roger Marti stepped up, only to be denied by Marc-Andre ter Stegen heroics.

Barca had started the game with Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets and Nico Gonzalez in midfield. But, they were unable to properly link up with the attack and were often overwhelmed by a more organized Levante attack transitions in the middle of the park.

However, a Dembele drive down the right flank was followed by a fine cross to Aubameyang who headed home to equalise and give Barca a chance.

The introduction of Pedri and Gavi for Frenkie de Jong and Nico Gonzalez helped alter the game in Barca’s favour. Shortly afterwards, Gavi produced a run before squaring it off to Pedri who scored from an impossible angle (7.7% chance of goal)  to give the Catalan side the lead.

But, Barca’s celebration got cut short minutes later when Clement Lenglet gave away a penalty that allowed Levante level the scores. Gonzalo Melero stepped up this time to convert penalty, bringing the scores to 2 – 2 in the 82nd minute of the match.

Xavi introduced Luuk de Jong and Adama Traore at the later stages of the game. Luuk de Jong scored the winner in the 92nd-minute winner after a pinpoint cross from Jordi Alba.

The goal proved to be the winner as Barcelona prevailed in a five-goal thriller against Levante to climb back to second in La Liga. Luuk de Jong was given the man of the match for his efforts. But, it was a great team effort, especially from Eric Garcia and Ter Stegen who both saved the team on countless occasions.

Barca have now been unbeaten in their last fifteen (15) games in La Liga. The heavily contested fixture has fans questioning if Barca are now heavily reliant on Pedri?

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