Cesc scores last season. PHOTO: ÀLEX CAPARRÓS-FCB.

Levante are starting their ninth season in the first division at a ground that has brought them no fortune whatsoever in the past. Since losing on their first visit to the Camp Nou in 1963/64, they have returned seven times and have always returned to Valencia empty handed. In those games, they have conceded 27 goals (3.25 a game) and scored just 7 (0.87).

Irregular performances

Levante’s visits have included some games in which they were perhaps unfortunate not to have come away with more, while others have ended in heavy defeats. For instance, their last game at the FCB stadium only ended 1-0, with Cesc Fàbregas saving the day for Barça with a late winner. But the season before, Levante were played off the park to the tune of a 5-0 defeat.

That five-goal margin was Barça’s biggest ever against the club, bettering by one goal the 6-2 win in 1963/64 and the 5-1 win in 2007/08. But the team that shares the same colours as FCB have usually managed to make the Catalans work hard for their points. The 2-1 win of 2010/11 was a much closer call, as were the 1-0 of 2006/07, the 2-1 of 2004/05 and the 4-2 of 1964/65. But despite these gallant performances, Levante are still waiting to celebrate their first point at the Camp Nou.