Spanish La Liga
Levante0Barcelona5

Levante 0-5 Barcelona

Lionel Messi
Messi has now scored 19 goals in 16 La Liga appearances against Levante

Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick and created another two goals as Barcelona thrashed 10-man Levante to regain a three-point lead at the top of La Liga.

The champions were joined at the top by Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, who both claimed victories this weekend.

But Messi stole the show once he crossed for Luis Suarez's opener.

The Argentine converted two clinical finishes and popped home from close range, as well cutting the ball back for Gerard Pique's late fifth.

Levante had defender Erick Cabaco sent off with 14 minutes to go for a straight red card after he recklessly lunged in on French winger Ousmane Dembele.

The hosts started brightly with striker Emmanuel Boateng smashing a shot against the crossbar and the Ghanaian also came close with a low, drilled effort towards the near post which Marc-Andre ter Stegen had to stoop to keep out, before Messi's intervention.

Magical Messi

La Liga table

Barca achieved a stylish revenge after last season's agonising 5-4 loss against Levante ended their chances of going the full season unbeaten in the penultimate game of the campaign.

Though they were second best in the early stages, there was no doubting the result once they broke the deadlock on 34 minutes.

Messi pounced on a loose ball as Levante looked to pass it out from the back and the chance looked to be gone when he was forced out wide, but a clever cross into the box allowed Suarez to side-foot home a first-time finish from 12 yards out.

Nine minutes later, Barca skipper Messi was played in on goal by Sergio Busquets' pass and the Argentine held off a defender to roll a finish into the far corner and then stroking home from the edge of the box for his second.

Messi completed his hat-trick with an easy finish from close range for his 50th goal for club and country in 2018 - and there was still time for defender Pique to start a move in his own box, before sprinting up the pitch to roll in from Messi's cutback.

Line-ups

Levante

  • 13Olazábal
  • 18CabacoBooked at 76mins
  • 15PostigoSubstituted forPrcicat 70'minutes
  • 4Suárez PierBooked at 25mins
  • 23Remeseiro SalgueiroBooked at 59mins
  • 16RochinaSubstituted forAndújar Morenoat 69'minutes
  • 24Campaña
  • 10Bardhi
  • 3García Aranda
  • 21BoatengSubstituted forMayoralat 62'minutes
  • 11Morales

Substitutes

  • 2Mayoral
  • 6Rodríguez Benito
  • 7Simon
  • 8Prcic
  • 9Martí
  • 12Andújar Moreno
  • 25Fernández

Barcelona

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 3Piqué
  • 15Lenglet
  • 24VermaelenSubstituted forRamos de Oliveira Meloat 52'minutes
  • 11DembéléBooked at 18minsSubstituted forD Suárezat 81'minutes
  • 4RakiticBooked at 36mins
  • 5Busquets
  • 22VidalSubstituted forCoutinhoat 78'minutes
  • 18AlbaBooked at 45mins
  • 9Suárez
  • 10Messi

Substitutes

  • 6D Suárez
  • 7Coutinho
  • 8Ramos de Oliveira Melo
  • 13Cillessen
  • 19El Haddadi
  • 21Aleñá
  • 27Miranda
Referee:
José Luis González González
Attendance:
23,736

Match Stats

Home TeamLevanteAway TeamBarcelona
Possession
Home43%
Away57%
Shots
Home20
Away16
Shots on Target
Home6
Away9
Corners
Home15
Away3
Fouls
Home12
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Levante 0, Barcelona 5.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Levante 0, Barcelona 5.

Offside, Levante. Coke tries a through ball, but Borja Mayoral is caught offside.

Corner, Levante. Conceded by Coutinho.

Corner, Levante. Conceded by Marc-André ter Stegen.

Attempt saved. Sanjin Prcic (Levante) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Rober Pier.

Goal!

Goal! Levante 0, Barcelona 5. Gerard Piqué (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

Attempt blocked. Sanjin Prcic (Levante) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Levante. Conceded by Clément Lenglet.

Attempt saved. Denis Suárez (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

Attempt missed. Coutinho (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

Offside, Barcelona. Coutinho tries a through ball, but Luis Suárez is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Jason (Levante) right footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.

Corner, Levante. Conceded by Marc-André ter Stegen.

Attempt saved. Borja Mayoral (Levante) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Coke.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Denis Suárez replaces Ousmane Dembélé.

Attempt missed. Luis Suárez (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

Attempt missed. Sanjin Prcic (Levante) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Rober Pier.

Attempt missed. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Coutinho replaces Arturo Vidal.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Ousmane Dembélé (Barcelona) because of an injury.

Dismissal

Erick Cabaco (Levante) is shown the red card.

Ousmane Dembélé (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Erick Cabaco (Levante).

Attempt missed. José Campaña (Levante) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right following a corner.

Attempt missed. Sanjin Prcic (Levante) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a corner.

Corner, Levante. Conceded by Gerard Piqué.

Attempt missed. Enis Bardhi (Levante) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by José Campaña.

Substitution

Substitution, Levante. Sanjin Prcic replaces Sergio Postigo.

Substitution

Substitution, Levante. Coke replaces Rubén Rochina.

Attempt saved. Arthur (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

Corner, Levante. Conceded by Luis Suárez.

Attempt blocked. Erick Cabaco (Levante) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by José Campaña with a cross.

Corner, Levante. Conceded by Jordi Alba.

Offside, Barcelona. Arturo Vidal tries a through ball, but Luis Suárez is caught offside.

Foul by Jordi Alba (Barcelona).

Jason (Levante) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Arthur (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 16th December 2018

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Barcelona16104246192734
2Sevilla1694329161331
3Atl Madrid1687124121231
4Real Madrid169252419529
5Real Betis167451918125
6Getafe166641712524
7Alavés157351817124
8Levante166462730-322
9Celta Vigo165652824421
10Girona165651719-221
11Espanyol166371823-521
12Real Valladolid165561518-320
13Eibar165562024-420
14Valencia1631031313019
15Real Sociedad165471819-119
16Leganés164661519-418
17Villarreal163671721-415
18Ath Bilbao152851523-814
19Rayo Vallecano1624101531-1610
20Huesca1615101432-188
View full Spanish La Liga table

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