Home Sports Lionel Messi marked his 400th appearance in La Liga with an early goal as the leaders Barcelona beat Levante

Lionel Messi marked his 400th appearance in La Liga with an early goal as the leaders Barcelona beat Levante

7 min read
0
631

Lionel Messi marked his 400th appearance in La Liga with an early goal as the leaders Barcelona beat Levante at the Camp Nou to restore their nine-point advantage.

 

Lionel Messi marked his 400th appearance in La Liga with an early goal as the leaders Barcelona beat Levante at the Camp Nou to restore their nine-point advantage.Image result for barcelona vs levante

Philippe Coutinho has headed to Catalonia to complete the formalities of his £142m transfer from Liverpool, but it remained business as usual for Ernesto Valverde’s
team on Sunday afternoon as Messi opened the scoring after 12 minutes.The in-form Luis Suárez, who himself left Anfield for Barça during the summer of 2014, added a second before the break and Paulinho tapped in a late third as Barcelona consolidated first place ahead of Atlético Madrid, who had beaten Getafe on Saturday.

The midfielder Ousmane Dembélé, fit again after sustaining a hamstring injury on his league debut following a €105m (£93m) move, came back into the starting XI while the Barcelona captain, Andrés Iniesta, made his 650th appearance.

After a positive start from Levante, who had lost all their 11 games in La Liga at the Camp Nou, Barcelona swept into the lead.It was Messi’s 365th league goal for Barcelona
Messi broke the lines time and again with his passing, some of his deliveries delicious in their execution. He may be scoring at a slightly lower rate than in times gone by, but he is so complete these days and Coutinho must be purring at the prospect of playing alongside the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

A return to form for Suarez is also good news for Barca. The Uruguayan missed a clear chance in the first half as he smashed a shot onto the top of the bar when it appeared simpler to score, but later netted with an acrobatic effort to continue his recent improvement.

Suarez has now scored in six of his last seven league games for Barcelona (with eight goals in those matches), having only found the net in two of his previous seven. The South American striker, a former team-mate of Coutinho at Liverpool and also a friend of the Brazilian, looks likely to benefit from the arrival of Phil, as well as the return to 4-3-3 after Valverde’s use of 4-4-2 while Dembele was out injured.

Levante almost reduced the deficit at the start of the second half when Ivi again forced Ter Stegen into a fine reaction save. The Barcelona goalkeeper had to be alert again on 65 minutes as he stuck out a leg to block a low shot from Shaquell Moore, who had ghosted in at the far post.

With three minutes remaining, there was some concern when Alba went down clutching his knee following an awkward fall after a challenge against the Levante substitute Samuel. The defender, though, was able to continue following treatment. Barcelona added a third in stoppage time when Paulinho tapped in from close range after Suárez stepped over a low cross from Messi.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Deals on Zenni Opticals in 2018

In this article, we are going to take you through a brief introduction Zenni opticals, lat…