Despite missing key first-team players, the hosts were inches away from taking the lead in the 27th minute. Only a combination of Marc-André ter Stegen’s hand and boot, before Eric García’s last-ditch goal line clearance, prevented José Luis Morales from celebrating a solo goal straight out of Lionel Messi’s playbook. The remainder of the first half saw only brief bursts of industry at either end, but the visitors were certainly fortuitous not to be heading into HT behind. Levante were handed a glorious opportunity to open the scoring only seven minutes into the second period, when referee José Luis Munuera Montero pointed to the spot, after a marauding Son had been body-checked by Danny Alves on his way to goal. Not to be denied for the second time in the contest, Morales confidently stepped up to send ter Stegen in the opposite direction and the Estadio Ciudad de València into rapturous celebrations. However, Morales’ decision to allow his strike-partner Roger Martí to take a second penalty in the space of four minutes, after Gavi had handled in the area, spectacularly backfired when the ’Barça’ number one brilliantly saved the resulting spot-kick. Predictably, it was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang that made Levante pay only three minutes later, when the Gabon international headed Ousmane Dembélé’s delightful cross past Dani Cárdenas, netting his eighth goal since joining the Catalan giants at the end of January. Only four minutes later, the second-half introductions of Pedri and Gavi proved to be a tactical masterclass from Xavi, when the compatriots' well-crafted exchange of passes on the edge of the penalty area allowed Pedri to deliver an exquisitely-struck strike into the bottom left-hand corner for 2-1. Against all odds, Levante were awarded a third penalty, when Clément Lengletit was penalised for a clumsily foul. Gonzalo Melero subsequently stepped up as Levante’s third different penalty taker of the evening, and netted confidently to bring the enthralling encounter level with seven minutes of regular time remaining. As is often their way under the current regime though, Barcelona ultimately had the last laugh, when substitute Luuk de Jong got a fraction ahead of the hosts’ defence to send a glancing header past a distraught Cárdenas in the 92nd-minute, finally sealing all three points to keep Barcelona’s amazing story of resurrection going into a vital Easter period.

On Matchday 31 of La Liga 2021/22, Levante hosted Barcelona. The match took place at the Estadi Ciutat de Valencia

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Levante 2:3 14Barcelona

Goals: Morales, 52 – penalty (1:0). Aubameyang, 59 (1:1). Pedri, 63 (1:2). Melero, 83 penalty (2:2). de Jong, 90+2 (2:3).

Line up:

Cárdenas, Son, Pierre, Vesu (Bardi, 76), Postigo, Miramon, Radoya (Cantero, 76), Pepelo, Campagna (Melero, 65), Rojer (Gomez, 65), Morales (Bubile, 90). ter Stegen, Araujo, Dani Alves (Langlais 80), Jordi Alba, Garcia, Busquets, de Jong (Gavi 56), Gonzalez (Pedri 57), Dembele (Traore 84), Torres, Aubameyang (de Jong 84).

Warnings: Campagna, 11′. Araujo, 87′.

Referee: Montero (Spain).


Although Levante had small losses in this game, the team looked very decent.

Already in the 27th minute the hosts could have taken the lead when the combination of the hand and boot of Marc-Andre ter Stegen and the last shot of Eric Garcia from the goal line prevented Jose Luis Morales to score the first goal in this match. The rest of the first half saw only brief flashes of activity from both sides, but failed to score.

In the second half, Lavante had a great opportunity to score from the penalty spot after Son was brought down by Danny Alves on his way to goal. Morales confidently stepped up and scored in this match.

Four minutes later, the hosts had another opportunity to score from the penalty spot, this time Morales allowed his attacking partner Roger Marti to convert a second penalty after Gavi handled the ball in the penalty area, turning into a spectacular mistake. In the end, goalkeeper Ter Stegen saved his goal and did not let the doubling of the advantage.

Three minutes later, Barcelona did level the score with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s cross by Ousmane Dembele past Dani Cardenas, scoring his eighth goal since joining Barcelona.

Just four minutes after the introduction of Pedri and Gavi in the second half, a well-judged exchange of passes on the edge of the penalty area allowed Pedri to strike a graceful shot into the bottom left corner to make it 2-1.

Against the odds, Levante were awarded a third penalty when Clement Lengletit was penalized for a clumsy foul. Gonzalo Melero came to the ball and converted the penalty.

However, as is often the case in the current regime, Barcelona ended up to the last, when substitute Luuk de Jong beat the home team’s defense and in the 92nd minute he headed past Cárdenas for an important goal that earned the team the important three points.

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