Published: Fri, January 11, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Levante 2 - 1 Barcelona - Match Report & Highlights

Levante 2 - 1 Barcelona - Match Report & Highlights

Jeison Murillo and Chumi, afforded opportunities amid a raft of Barca changes, floundered at the heart of defence and the hosts took full advantage, storming to an early two-goal advantage thanks to Erick Cabaco and Borja Mayoral. They had [Jose Luis] Morales' chance [to make it 3-0], but I think in general we were better and deserved - at the very least - our goal.

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez already have 28 goals between them this season but both will need to be rested.

Ernesto Valverde's no.2 Aspiazu was asked about Coutinho's recent form, where he made some interesting comments.

Valverde added that he was "happy" with centre-back Murillo's first showing since signing on a six-month loan from Valencia but conceded it had been a "difficult test" for Miranda and Chumi, who were both substituted.

Coutinho, underwhelming on what was his first start since December's Champions League draw with Tottenham, stepped up to convert from 12 yards but there was to be no late rally from the visitors.

The Brazilian star joined the club last January in a deal worth an estimated 160 million euros but the recent form of the former Liverpool man has become noticeable of late.

The Absence of Messi and Suarez certainly showed as the Catalan giants found it tough to carve out chances in the final third, as the likes of Coutinho, Dembele and Malcom failed to stamp their authority on the game. I will say the same about Dembele. And if one of them isn't happy, they have to fight to turn things around.

He said: "Everyone wants to play". There are a lot of midfielders and there are only three positions. "But I believe that Philippe is going to help us in what's left of the season".

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