Levante 2 - 1 Barcelona - Match Report & Highlights

Levante 2 - 1 Barcelona - Match Report & Highlights

Barca, who have won the tournament four years in a row, go to Ciutat de Valencia in the last 16 on Thursday.

Neither is expected to face Levante in the Copa del Rey on Thursday and Valverde refused to rule out the possibility of bolstering his options.

Levante took a shock lead in the fourth minute of the match when Erick Cabaco rose highest inside the Barcelona box to head a floated Ruben Rochina free kick past Jasper Cillessen from close range.

Valverde defended his team selection, insisting the injection of youngsters Juan Miranda and Chumi, along with new arrival Jeison Murillo, was a gamble worth taking.

As if to provide a service to parent club Madrid, the Spanish striker saved his best for the LaLiga leaders, complementing the first-half strike with two key passes, one of which should have resulted in a goal for team-mate Morales.

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Barcelona's Denis Suarez was one of three players thrown on by Ernesto Valverde and the midfielder, linked with a move away from the club this month, earned the penalty which Coutinho netted to boost the chances of turning the tie around next week.

The on-loan Los Blancos attacker then fired another attempt wide of the post moments later, before Malcom just failed to meet an Ousmane Dembele cross down the other end as Levante led 2-0 at the interval.

He took his goal with aplomb and Mayoral was an influential factor throughout Levante's proactive performance.

Reported Arsenal target Denis Suarez came on and got his side back into the contest by winning a penalty as he was upended by Coke after dribbling into the area.

Coutinho stepped forward to make it 2-1 in the 85th minute and that was how it finished in Valencia to leave the tie delicately poised ahead of the return at Camp Nou next week.

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