Season 2010-11 / FOTO: ARCHIVE FCB

Season 2004-05 / FOTO: ARCHIVE FCB

Barça are returning to the Ciutat de València on Saturday, the same place where less than a year ago, on May 11, 2011, they won La Liga for the third consecutive year. Keita put FCB ahead with a wonderful header but shortly before half time Felipe Caicedo pulled the home side level. But the point was ultimately all Barcelona needed to secure yet another championship title.

History repeating

It was the same story as six years earlier, in 2004/05, when Barça mathematically clinched the title with three games to go, and once again on the back of a tie. That time Levante took the early lead through Alberto Rivera, but a second half goal from Samuel Eto’o secured the all important point. With Frank Rijkaard as manager and Ronaldinho as the main star, that was the start of three wonderful years in which the Catalans won two Ligas, one Champions league and two Spanish Supercups.

Difficult games

Apart from two games played at the Ciutat de València in the 1960s, which ended in a 5-4 Barça win (1963-64) and a 5-1 defeat (1964-65), Barça’s last four games at Levante have included three draws, all 1-1, in 2004-05, 2006-07 and 2010-11, and one 4-1 away win (2007-08).

So, with an all-time record of two wins, three draws and one defeat, Barça are going to the Ciutat de València just as Levante are enjoying their most successful season ever, and knowing that this won’t be an easy game. Pep Guardiola already made that clear after the Getafe match when he said “the games against Rayo and Levante will decide the league”.

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