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COPA DEL REY

Dembélé does the damage for Barcelona

Barcelona turned the Copa del Rey tie around thanks to a Dembélé double in two minutes in the first half, followed by a neat Messi finish at the start of the second.

Update:
Barcelona 3-0 Levante Copa del Rey
ALBERT GEAREUTERS

Barcelona 3-0 Leganés match report

Ernesto Valverde did not call in all of his heavyweights for a second leg that they had to win after losing the first leg 2-1 to a hungry and spirited Levante side. He did recall Ivan Rakitic, Jordi Alba and Lionel Messi, however, while leaving Gerard Piqué and Luis Suárez on the bench from that game last week.

The Argentine played in between Philippe Coutinho and Ousmané Dembélé and knit the whole thing together in a far more profitable game for Barcelona in attack after a stuttering display last week.

Dembélé scored two goals in about 90 seconds to turn the tie in Barça's favour after 30 minutes and they never looked back. Levante never looked like getting back into it either as they tried to prevent Barcelona from scoring, failed to do that, and didn't seem to have a Plan B after Dembélé's brace.

His two goals were sloppy but the moves building up to them and the general play involving Messi, Coutinho and the French attacker was excellent. The first came as Cabaco kicked the ball against him only to see it loop over Aitor.

The second was a nicer move but which saw Aitor kick it over his own line as he scrambled back having already been beaten by Dembélé's speed and touch.

Messi got the third on 54 minutes and Levante were left relying on their legal team to get a result from the tie with news that Chumi may or may not have been played last week despite being suspended previously with Barcelona B. They will present their case to the Spanish federation on Friday after the reports emerged on Thursday ahead of the game.

They made very little of a case for themselves on the field at the Camp Nou on Thursday night though as Barcelona, for now, are into the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey.

Barcelona vs Leganés live online: match updates and commentary

Barcelona vs Leganés live online: preview

There is a chance that this second leg Copa del Rey clash at the Camp Nou could be a pointless exercise given news on Thursday that Barcelona played a suspended player in the first leg last week. Chumi was suspended for Barça's B side but the rules that that a light suspension of less than two games does not prevent a reserve team player from playing with the first team in a different competition. Reports said Barcelona were "very calm" and said they did not do anything wrong but Levante will now report them to RFEF but the 24 hour window to do so has already well and truly past. Regardless of that speculation, we will be (hopefully) bringing you live coverage from Barcelona with kick-off at 21:30.

Barcelona beat Eibar at a canter at the weekend. Having left Messi, Suarez, Rakitic, Alba and Piqué at home for the first leg against Levante, and losing 2-1, they will surely play a much better and more experiences side in the return leg. This is the third time the teams have met in less than a month and they have both won one of those games. Levante fell to Barça in the league, 5-0, with Levante overturning that result last week in the Copa. Rafinha, Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen remain out injured and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen returns to the squad but Jasper Cillessen will likely remain in goals as the "Copa keeper".

Levante thoroughly deserved their victory last week but the Chumi situation has thrown the tie up in the air. Their president says it's not an easy situation and they will fight to win the game and qualify on the field although they will present their case to the Spanish federation anyway. He says there is "precedence for us to defend our position." Paco Lopez' side battled hard at the Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday but lost to a harsh penalty decision. They are without Chema, who is out for a month but aside from that, Lopez has a full compliment of players to call upon for what would be a historic result if they can knock Barcelona out of the Copa.

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