Barcelona 1-0 Levante: results, summary and goals
FC Barcelona-Levante UD: LaLiga live
It was tough at times as Barcelona came up against an extremely well drilled Levante side but a flash of brilliance from Leo Messi, who once again had another frustrating evening, was enough for Ronald Koeman's side to secure the win and move to eighth in the LaLiga table.
After a first half that saw both sides enjoy passages of dominance, Levante sat deeper in the second half and had keeper Aitor Fernandez to thanks for a series of countless fine stops to keep the game goalless.
Just as it seemed that more pressure would be piled on the Dutch coach with a 0-0 draw, in the 76th minute, Griezmann robbed the ball in the centre of the park and fed the Argentine No. 10 who rifled home with nothing Fernandez could do about the shot.
A moment of respite at the Catalan club who learn on Monday their rival in the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League Round of 16.
642nd FC Barcelona goal for Lionel Messi tonight
Post match: Jordi Alba
'Strikers have runs of form'. "We were solid defensively and Levante were as always a toiugh unit to break down:
FT at Camp Nou: Barcelona 1-0 Levante UD
Barcelona defending their lead here as LUD win another corner. Ter Stegen saves from Son and that is all at Camp Nou.
No penalty the verdict. A bit of a let-off for the home side.
Morales to take the corner as VAR checks for a possible penalty for a Umtiti handball.
Levante win a corner as the time is about to expire....last chance saloon for the men from Valencia.
We'll have three minutes of added time.
Into the final minute we go. Levante trail by the Messi goal.
Griezmann makes way for Umtiti.
Umtiti poised to make an entrance as Levante claim a corner after Lenglet heads wide.
Braithwaite carded for a challenge from behind on Miramon.
From what we've seen tonight, one would think that Levante would have what it takes to avoid problems in retaining their top flight status. Son breaks to the byline and send the ball straight to Ter Stegen.
Levante press but Lenglet intercepts and deflects the ball back to Ter Stegen.
Shots on target: FCB 13-2 LUD
Barcelona would leap up to 8th place should it remain the same here at Camp Nou. Levante would remain in 18th place tied with Huesca and Osasuna on 11 points.
De Frutos. and Melero off - Leon and Son their replacements.
Messi goes close again and this time Aitor was on hand to deprive the Argentine.
More changes for Levante imminent.
What can Levante do now? They've been in hyper defensive mode for almost the entire half, will they be able to respond and take the game back to the home side?
Fine finish from the Argentine with the ball flying in off the post and nothing Aitor could do about that.
It's all one way traffic now as Barcelona press and probe looking for a way through. Levante have been so well organised defensively tonight and testament to the work installed by coach Paco Lopez who is one of the most under-rated in the Spanish top flight.
Braithwaite heads wide with the goal gaping.
Morales just fails to secure an opening for a shot as Barcelona rob the ball and look for a way through as Aitor once again saves from Messi.
Coutinho off-Trincao on
Action shot from Camp Nou as De Jong escapes from two Levante players
Changes for Levante: Coke, Vukevic and Roger off - Morales, Radoja and Miramon on
Levante now with every man behind the ball. One senses that the side from Valencia will only be able to hold out for so long with this constant pressure. Free kick again and this time Messi floats the ball into the box as Lenglet heads over.
Malsa fouls Messi and Barcelona have a danger free-kick right on the edge of the area. 27m from goal ....Messi beats the wall but easy for Aitor.
Levante haven't really troubled Ter Stegen in this second half with Aitor Fernandez being the busier keeper. Over 60 minutes gone and still 0-0.
Great run from Gomez and he combines with Postigo and the return ball is just overhit. The ball breaks down the other side of the pitch and Griezmann fires over.
VAR being consulted after it appears that Vezo handled. Decision comes back with a no handball decision. Correct call.
Pedri on for Busquets who has had a discreet half.
10-2 corners in favour of Barcelona.
Barcelona try and pass their way into the Levante goal but are crowded out by the black and white shirts. Pedri poised to come on.
Another Messi shot from the trusty left foot and the ball edges just wide.
A draw would be something of a historical result for Levante here at Camp Nou. In their 14 visits, the side from Valencia have lost all 14.
Messi shoots from close range but the ball richochets into Aitor's arms
De Jong carded for a foul on Gomez. First Barcelona player in the book tonight. A little too long for a shot with De Frutos to take and his lofted effort drifts wide. Morales warms up for Levante.
Levante press and Roger just fails to anticipate a through ball as subs for both sides start to warm up ahead of changes.
No changes at the break.
The 0-0 draw would see Barcelona move to 9th in the table and would see Levante remain 18th... The home side get the second half underway.
Levante stopper Aitor Fernandez probably the man of the first half with the keeper pulling off countless fins saves to keep the game scoreless.
Leo Messi having a frustrating evening so far at Camp Nou. Will the Argentine's fortunes change in the second 45'?
The whistle sounds and we head to the dressing rooms with 0-0 on the scoreboard.
Into the final minute we go and it remains all square at Camp Nou. Barcelona have dominated the final 15' after both sides enjoying positive spells in the opening thirty minutes.
Malsa is on the ground after colliding with Braithwaite and appears okay to continue.
First card of the night goes to Levante's Vukcevic for a tug on Messi's shirt.
Pique watching on at Camp Nou tonight
Alba volleys and Aitor palms over the bar. Constant pressure from Koeman's men now and Levante feel like they're just hanging on after a fine first 30' or so. Another Barcelona free which Messi will hit again....Griezmann fires on target and once again Aitor is there to save the day.
Barcelona win a free-kick in perfect Messi territory.... The Argentine strikes and the ball strikes the wall and goes wide for another corner for the home side.
Postigo appeared to be pulling Messi back in that last passage of play but no VAR check from the match official.
Great ball into the box from Messi and Griezmann just fails to latch onto the assist. All the play in the Levante half now as Barça press.
Messi sets off on one of his traditional slaloms but fails to beat his defender and a look of frustration once again is the expression on the No. 10's face.
Excellent run from De Jong who shrugs off the attention of his rival to run the length of the pitch and square the ball back to Messi who miscues and fires his shot well off target.
Levante have looked for Roger from the centre of the pitch but do remain faithful in playing the ball out from the back and avoid a long ball. Corner for LUD. De Frutos to take, the ball falls to Gomez who shoots straight at Ter Stegen.
Messi rises well to meet a Griezmann cross but heads over.
Levante are a fine side and can move the ball around every bit as the home side. Marti just overhits a cross after some neat passing and move play from the visitors.
Alba breaks to the by-line and his cross is cleared for another Barcelona corner.
Messi finds Griezmann who heads a Messi free, the ball falls to Lenglet with the goal gaping but the French defender blazes over.
Despite Barcelona's dominance in possession, it's been Levante who have carved out the better clear-cut chances.
Gomez breaks into the Barcelona area but miscues his effort driving the ball high.
I'm not sure if it's a state of mind thing, but things are just not going Messi's way these days. Could we be witnessing the final months of the Argentine in the azul-grana shirt ?
Great effort from Braithwaite and a fine save from Aitor. The game has come to life now with both sides shaking off the eary lethargy.
When Levante do attack, they are able to carve up the Barcelona rearguard with surprising ease. Koeman looks a relaxed figure on the Camp Nou sideline.
De Frutos finds himself face-to-face with Ter Stegen and the German does well to save with his wrist. A let off for the home side and repeats show the Levante man in an offside position.
Barcelona now stamping a degree of authority on proceedings as they move the ball around with their usual poise and expansiveness.
Corner for the home side which Messi will take with the trusty left peg. Goes short as Coutinho shoots and Levante clear the danger.
Levante happy to hit long balls and look for the pace of Roger Marti.
Aitor in the Levante goal yet to be called into action with the action staring with a somewaht relaxed tempo
Bright start for the visitors as Malsa almost finds a team-mate ....
Lenglet takes a ball to the stomach and play is held up as Levante win a corner.
Four draws and a win for Levante ahead of the Camp Nou clash.
Barcelona come into tonight's game on the back of two consecutive defeats (Cadiz (a) and Juve at home in Europe.
We're underway at Camp Nou as Levante kick-off.
Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea is tonight's match official as Koeman and Lopez exchange pre match pleasantries.
Barcelona in their iconic azul-grana shirts and navy shorts. Levante in their change colours tonight playing in black and white stripes. The players take to the field at Camp Nou. 12C/54 F in the Catalan capital tonight.
All set at a cavernous Camp Nou which is certainly one of the grounds where the absence of supporters really stands out. Fingers crossed that situation can be amended come 2021 as nation comes to grips with the pandemic via a vaccine.
Meetings at Camp Nou in LaLiga: Barcelona 14-0 Levante UD
Goals in those 14 games: FCB 48-9 LUD
Despite having played 2 games less than the rest of the field, FC Barcelona languish in 10th position in LaLiga with tonight's opposition Levante also struggling this season with Paco Lopez's side in the relegation zone.
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Levante have beaten the Catalan giants twice in LaLiga this century with a memorable 5-4 win in Valencia in 2018.
These wins did come at the Ciutat de Valencia stadium.
More controversy at the Catalan club after Spanish daily El Pais confirmed the dressing room tension between coach Koeman and 21-year-old player Puig.
12 points off the top side in LaLiga, second in the Champions League group and set to face a stringer side in the Round of 16, questions being asked about Koeman's suitability on the Camp Nou bench and with no president in place at the club, FC Barcelona is very much a club in crisis.
A win over Levante is expected and will offer a short-term balsamic effect but should the unthinkable happen and Barça lose ....
In the corresponding fixture at Camp Nou last season (Feb 2020) Barcelona ran out 2-1 winners with Ansu Fati bagging both goals for the Catalan side with Vezo pulling back an injury time consolation for Paco Lopez's men.
Alarm bells in the Catalan capital
Barça find themselves in a position where they have no margin for error – regardless of the opponents they might be facing. Tonight’s game against a Levante side who are third from bottom and with just one win on the road this season is one which Koeman’s side need to take three points from – especially after Real Madrid’s victory over Atletico in yesterday’s derby. Barcelona are 12 points behind the leaders and trail Madrid by nine points.
The LaLiga action gets underway in the Catalan capital at 21:00 CET.
Hello and a very warm welcome to our live coverage from Camp Nou as FC Barcelona face Levante UD