Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Levante ends Barcelona's unbeaten season

Mauro Icardi AFP Getty Images
Deanna Wagner | 14 May, 2018, 06:43

Valverde before Sundays' trip to Levante confirmed that they have their target set for becoming invincible in the whole La Liga season after having already won the League and the Copa Del Rey.

With Lionel Messi out of the squad tonight, Levante saw an opportunity to get at a Barça team who too often rely on the Argentinian's magic to see them through tough moments.

Coutinho then completed his hat-trick, while Suarez scored a penalty and a Barca fightback looked possible, but Levante held on for a win, while Barca's unbeaten run comes to an end after 43 games.

But Barcelona could not find an equaliser as they fell to a first La Liga defeat in 44 games.

Their last fixture is at home against Real Sociedad.

Before the game, Paco Jemez explained in his press conference that "It would be historic for us to beat Barcelona".

"But in a season some matches go your way and some don't". If we were thinking about players for next season, I think we would lose that competitive edge.

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He feels the chance to set a new record has helped his players retain motivation after they secured the title two weeks ago.

"We have a goal, which is none other than to keep us undefeated in this league campaign".

"But this does not take away everything we have done otherwise this season - everything we have achieved in league, the run we managed across two seasons - but, it is a shame".

"Levante have incredible numbers, with seven wins, a draw and a defeat in nine games". They move up to 15th.

Bardhi's blistering shot restored the two-goal advantage before Boateng completed his hat-trick as Barca's defence was ripped apart again on the break.

Coutinho reduced the deficit three minutes later from close range and completed his first Barca treble with 26 minutes left with another deflected effort from range.

Leo Baptistao then swept home on the half-hour mark to finish off an excellent team goal, before Malaga pulled one back from the penalty spot through Adrian Gonzalez after Naldo had been harshly punished for handball.