Spanish La Liga
LevanteLevante3BarcelonaBarcelona3

Levante 3-3 Barcelona: Barca throw away two-goal lead and miss chance to go top of La Liga

By Michael EmonsBBC Sport

Barcelona threw away a 2-0 lead and saw their La Liga hopes receive a major setback as they drew at Levante.

Lionel Messi put the visitors ahead with a well-controlled low volley before they doubled their lead when Pedri converted from Ousmane Dembele's cross following Messi's through ball.

But Gonzalo Melero headed one back and Jose Luis Morales volleyed in for 2-2.

Barcelona retook the lead with Dembele's powerful shot, but Sergio Leon got a late equaliser for Levante.

Barca move up to second, above Real Madrid, but would have gone top with a victory and are one point behind leaders Atletico Madrid, who have a game in hand.

Atletico have three matches left and will become Spanish champions for the first time since 2013-14 if they win all of them.

Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets admitted his side's chances of winning La Liga for the 27th time, were now slim.

"There are very few options for us to win the league now," he said.

"It feels terrible. We weren't able to win the game, we started well, got the advantage and the second goal, but could not get a third. As has happened too many times, errors have cost us.

"The point means very little to us. We weren't precise with our passing and they took full advantage. We had our chances but we paid for our mistakes - we've not had a good second half.

"It is our fault and we take responsibility - we allow teams to score too easily against us."

Koeman baffled as Barcelona throw it away

Barcelona looked completely in control after scoring twice in the opening 34 minutes, against a Levante side who needed one point to be certain of avoiding relegation.

However, with full-back Sergi Roberto coming on and going into an unfamiliar central defensive position, Ronald Koeman's side began to look fragile and conceded twice in a three-minute period.

Melero got up above the Barcelona defence to head a goal back and then Messi carelessly lost possession 30 yards from his own goal with Morales volleying in Levante's first equaliser.

Dembele's goal, awarded after a video assistant referee check decided Antoine Griezmann had not fouled Levante's Jorge Miramon, restored the visitors' lead, but Leon got ahead of Gerard Pique to flick in a late, dramatic third goal.

"In the second half we lacked intensity and I don't know what I did wrong at the half-time period as we were superior in the first half," said Koeman.

"They surprised us by scoring three goals and I have no explanation - I don't know why it happened.

"In terms of intensity, we dropped and got over-relaxed. The whole team defensively was not at the level required. Conceding three goals in 45 minutes is too many for this team."

Barcelona won the Copa del Rey last month but went out of the Champions League at the last-16 phase and could miss out on the Spanish title for a second successive season.

Atletico will go four points clear if they win their game in hand on Wednesday at home against fifth-placed Real Sociedad, before Real Madrid play at Granada on Thursday.

Line-ups

Levante

Formation 4-4-2

  • 13Fernández
  • 20MiramónSubstituted forAndújar Morenoat 75'minutes
  • 14Nunes Vezo
  • 6DuarteSubstituted forMalsaat 61'minutes
  • 3García Aranda
  • 18de FrutosBooked at 67mins
  • 4Suárez Pier
  • 22Melero
  • 10BardhiSubstituted forGómez Alcónat 61'minutes
  • 9MartíSubstituted forLeónat 75'minutes
  • 11MoralesBooked at 79minsSubstituted forKochorashviliat 90'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Hidalgo
  • 7León
  • 12Malsa
  • 15Postigo
  • 16Rochina
  • 19Clerc
  • 21Gómez Alcón
  • 23Andújar Moreno
  • 25Doukouré
  • 29Cantero
  • 34Cárdenas
  • 43Kochorashvili

Barcelona

Formation 3-1-4-2

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 4AraujoSubstituted forRobertoat 45'minutesSubstituted forPuigat 85'minutes
  • 3Piqué
  • 15LengletBooked at 90mins
  • 5Busquets
  • 11DembéléSubstituted forDestat 81'minutes
  • 21de JongBooked at 77mins
  • 16GonzálezSubstituted forMinguezaat 74'minutes
  • 18Alba
  • 7GriezmannSubstituted forBraithwaiteat 81'minutes
  • 10Messi

Substitutes

  • 2Dest
  • 8Pjanic
  • 9Braithwaite
  • 12Puig
  • 13Murara Neto
  • 17Machado Trincão
  • 20Roberto
  • 23Umtiti
  • 24Firpo
  • 27Kourouma Kourouma
  • 28Mingueza
  • 36Tenas
Referee:
José Luis Munuera Montero

Match Stats

Home TeamLevanteAway TeamBarcelona
Possession
Home39%
Away61%
Shots
Home16
Away17
Shots on Target
Home6
Away5
Corners
Home8
Away6
Fouls
Home12
Away4

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Levante 3, Barcelona 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Levante 3, Barcelona 3.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Coke (Levante) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jorge de Frutos with a cross.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Levante. Conceded by Clément Lenglet.

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Sergio León (Levante) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Gonzalo Melero (Levante) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Giorgi Kochorashvili.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Aitor Fernández.

  8. Post update

    Sergiño Dest (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Dani Gómez (Levante).

  10. Booking

    Clément Lenglet (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Clément Lenglet (Barcelona).

  12. Post update

    Jorge de Frutos (Levante) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Hand ball by Coke (Levante).

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Levante. Giorgi Kochorashvili replaces José Luis Morales.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Gerard Piqué (Barcelona) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Frenkie de Jong with a cross following a corner.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Jorge de Frutos.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Barcelona. Riqui Puig replaces Sergi Roberto.

  18. Goal!

    Goal! Levante 3, Barcelona 3. Sergio León (Levante) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Toño with a cross.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Barcelona. Martin Braithwaite replaces Antoine Griezmann.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Barcelona. Sergiño Dest replaces Ousmane Dembélé.

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Scores, Results & Fixtures

Tuesday 11th May 2021

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Atl Madrid35238461223977
2Barcelona36237683364776
3Real Madrid35229460263475
4Sevilla35225851292271
5Real Sociedad351511953351856
6Real Betis35159114547-254
7Villarreal351313953421152
8Celta Vigo351211125053-347
9Ath Bilbao351113114638846
10Granada35136164457-1345
11Osasuna361111143645-944
12Cádiz361110153353-2043
13Levante36913144353-1040
14Valencia35912144651-539
15Alavés36811173254-2235
16Getafe35810172641-1534
17Real Valladolid35516143249-1731
18Huesca35612173352-1930
19Elche36612182954-2530
20