Spanish La Liga
BarcelonaBarcelona3LevanteLevante0

Barcelona 3-0 Levante

Messi (left) played a clever one-two with Alba (centre) before opening the scoring
Messi (left) played a clever one-two with Alba (centre) before opening the scoring

Lionel Messi marked his 400th Barcelona appearance with a goal as the La Liga leaders maintained their nine-point advantage with victory over Levante.

Messi opened the scoring at the Nou Camp, chipping the ball to Jordi Alba and volleying home the return.

His 365th La Liga goal equalled Gerd Muller's record for goals in a single one of Europe's top five leagues.

Luis Suarez produced a superb strike before half-time and Paulinho tapped in a third in second-half stoppage time.

Suarez stepped over Messi's low ball across the six-yard box, affording Paulinho a simple finish for his seventh league goal of the season.

Suarez took his own tally to 11 and could have added more but for a fine Oier save in the second period.

Aside from a Marc-Andre ter Stergen save to keep out Shaquell Moore in a one-on-one opportunity, Barca eased to victory, extending their run to 26 matches unbeaten in all competitions.

Messi's goal - his 16th in La Liga this season - means he needs to score just once more to surpass the record Muller set while playing for Bundesliga side Bayern Munich between 1964 and 1979.

The three points cancelled out second-placed Atletico Madrid's win over Getafe on Saturday to restore a nine-point advantage.

The success also arrived in a good-news week for the club as they finally landed long-term transfer target Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool, with the Brazilian set to be confirmed as a Barca player imminently.

It is not yet clear how Coutinho will fit into Barca's line-up, with some predicting he will be a long-term replacement for 33-year-old midfielder Andres Iniesta, who made his 650th club appearance.

Coutinho was not at the game, with reports in Spainexternal-link suggesting he will complete a medical at Barcelona on Monday with a presentation to follow soon after.

Line-ups

Barcelona

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 20RobertoSubstituted forArnáizat 85'minutes
  • 14Mascherano
  • 25Vermaelen
  • 18Alba
  • 11DembéléSubstituted forNélson Semedoat 67'minutes
  • 15Paulinho
  • 4Rakitic
  • 8IniestaSubstituted forAndré Gomesat 76'minutes
  • 10Messi
  • 9Suárez

Substitutes

  • 2Nélson Semedo
  • 3Piqué
  • 6D Suárez
  • 13Cillessen
  • 19Digne
  • 21André Gomes
  • 37Arnáiz

Levante

Formation 4-5-1

  • 13Olazábal
  • 26Moore
  • 18Cabaco
  • 15PostigoBooked at 31mins
  • 22Luna
  • 23Remeseiro SalgueiroSubstituted forGarcíaat 83'minutes
  • 8LermaBooked at 8minsSubstituted forSuárez Pierat 62'minutesBooked at 84mins
  • 20Lukic
  • 5Doukouré
  • 14López Álvarez
  • 21BoatengBooked at 70minsSubstituted forMesa Traviesoat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Fernández
  • 3García Aranda
  • 4Suárez Pier
  • 7García
  • 12Andújar Moreno
  • 16Mesa Travieso
  • 31El Hacen El Ide
Referee:
Carlos del Cerro Grande
Attendance:
54,617

Match Stats

Home TeamBarcelonaAway TeamLevante
Possession
Home72%
Away28%
Shots
Home16
Away9
Shots on Target
Home8
Away2
Corners
Home3
Away6
Fouls
Home10
Away22

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Barcelona 3, Levante 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Barcelona 3, Levante 0.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Barcelona 3, Levante 0. Paulinho (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Cheick Doukouré (Levante) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Samu García.

  5. Post update

    Hand ball by José Arnáiz (Barcelona).

  6. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  7. Post update

    Delay in match Jordi Alba (Barcelona) because of an injury.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Jordi Alba (Barcelona).

  9. Post update

    Samu García (Levante) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  10. Post update

    Offside, Barcelona. Ivan Rakitic tries a through ball, but Lionel Messi is caught offside.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Barcelona. José Arnáiz replaces Sergi Roberto.

  12. Booking

    Rober Pier (Levante) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  13. Post update

    Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Rober Pier (Levante).

  15. Post update

    Sergi Roberto (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Ivi (Levante).

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Levante. Samu García replaces Jason.

  18. Post update

    Sergi Roberto (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Antonio Luna (Levante).

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 7th January 2018

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Barcelona1815304874148
2Atl Madrid1811612781939
3Valencia18114338182037
4Real Madrid1795332161632
5Sevilla189272327-429
6Villarreal188462521428
7Eibar188372430-627
8Ath Bilbao186662019124
9Leganés177371314-124
10Real Betis187383034-424
11Getafe186572218423
12Real Sociedad186573130123
13Girona186572228-623
14Celta Vigo186483227522
15Espanyol175571421-720
16Levante183961525-1018
17Dep La Coruña1844102035-1516
18Alavés1850131327-1415
19Malaga1732121331-1811
20Las Palmas1832131440-2611
View full Spanish La Liga table

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