Levante 2 - 1 Barcelona - Match Report & Highlights

Annette Crawford
January 11, 2019

However, the La Liga leaders improved after the break and Philippe Coutinho's late penalty gives them hope of progressing to the quarterfinal heading into next week's second leg at Camp Nou.

Barcelona's back four included debutant Jeison Murillo and youngsters Chumi Brandariz and Juan Miranda.

Early goals from Erick Cabaco and Borja Mayoral were enough to give Levante victory over the defending champions.

"The tie is open after Coutinho's goal", Busquets told reporters after the 2-1 loss.

Barcelona pushed for the equaliser and came close late on through Dembele, but his strike was well saved by Fernandez as Levante secured an advantage from the first leg.

The on-loan Los Blancos attacker then fired another attempt wide of the post moments later, before Malcom just failed to meet an Ousmane Dembele cross down the other end as Levante led 2-0 at the interval.

"When it came to picking the side, I thought that was the best team we could pick for the game", Valverde said in a news conference when asked if he regretted his team selection.

In the 18 man squad, most names are of the younger and academy players who are certainly going to get a chance to show their talent, however, there will be a few first teamers playing as well because Barcelona will certainly be looking to carry home a few away goals in the bag and need experienced men to do so.

Arsenal target Denis Suarez was brought on however and won his side's penalty with six minutes remaining after a superb individual run down the inside right channel.

Coutinho stepped forward to make it 2-1 in the 85th minute and that was how it finished in Valencia to leave the tie delicately poised ahead of the return at Camp Nou next week.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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