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Both sides approached the early stages of this game on the front foot, but it was Barça who looked the most comfortable on the ball as they stroked it around the City of Valencia Stadium pitch.
Some great interplay just before the quarter hour saw an exchange of passes between Sergi Roberto and Luis Suárez which ended with the former almost connecting with a header.
As the first half wore on, it was the visitors who continued to carve out the chances, with Levante forced to play on the counter attack. Marc-André ter Stegen wasn’t troubled in the opening 45, but it took a 38th minute penalty for Barça to go ahead. Lionel Messi was handed the responsibility after Nélson Semedo had been upended, and the captain made no mistake.
A wonderful, flowing Barça move just before half-time deserved a goal, but on this occasion Messi’s shot squirmed under the keepers body before being cleared near to the goal line.
Luis Suárez was replaced by Carles Pérez for the second 45, as the half began in much the same way as the first. Right on the hour, some pressure from the home side saw José Campaña fire home the equaliser, and within two minutes Borja Mayoral had put the hosts ahead.
Nemanja Radoja’s deflected third goal on 68 looked to have taken the game away from the visitors until Messi’s second gave Barça hope. The No.10’s goal was subsequently chalked off by VAR, handing the advantage back to Levante.