Barcelona needed nothing less than a win from Tuesday’s trip to the Ciutat de Valencia, to truly keep the pressure on the two Madrid clubs.
Barcelona recorded a 3-3 draw against Levante at the Ciutat de Valencia, which is certainly a massive area of concern considering the fact that they needed nothing short of a win. A win would have helped them maintain the pressure on their two rivals from Madrid: Atletico and Real Madrid. Leading 2-0 at half-time, it seemed the job was going to be done. However, the Barcelona defence choked when it mattered the most, allowing Levante a chance to produce an unexpected second-half comeback. Ousmane Dembele helped the Spanish giants restore the lead, before their opponents pounced upon some weak defending to get a goal under their belt.
However, the fact that Barcelona had recorded only a single win in the last four visits at Levante before this game, makes their poor performance hardly much of a surprise. Although it was exactly 10 years ago that the Spanish giants won a league title at Levante, the truth is that the most recent precedents were not favourable for the visitors. They lost 3-1 in the last league game there and 2-1 in their penultimate visit, a Copa del Rey tie. A 5-0 win for Barcelona was sandwiched by the 5-4 defeat which meant an unbeaten season wasn’t completed.
This factor had an impact on proceedings, despite Levante not enjoying a great run before the game. The club had lost six of their last eight games in the league, and their previous streak of four losses in 22 games was a distant memory.
However, on the bright side, Lionel Messi maintained his decisive performances against Levante. Messi had participated in at least one goal in each of the last 10 games against Levante in LaLiga, maintaining the same impact against their opponents.
Atletico Madrid are set to take on Real Sociedad tomorrow in their next league encounter. Real Madrid take on Granada on Thursday. Barcelona have no choice but to watch and hope in an unpredictable season. While further shocks are not entirely out of the question, the Spanish giants will have to sit and wait in anticipation of a result in their favour, which may not be the case ultimately.