Lionel Messi, Barcelona Suffer Shock Loss vs. Levante with Luis Suarez InjuredNovember 2, 2019
Levante came from behind to upset Barcelona 3-1 at the Estadi Ciutat de Valencia on Saturday.
A 38th-minute Lionel Messi penalty separated the two sides in the first half, but Levante replied with three goals in the space of seven minutes after the break.
Jose Campana pulled the hosts level in the 61st minute, shortly followed by Borja Mayoral putting them ahead. Nemanja Radoja’s deflected effort increased their lead in the 68th minute.
Messi had a second goal disallowed following a review by the video assistant referee.
The Catalan giants will be replaced at the top of La Liga if Real Madrid win at home to Real Betis on Saturday night.
Barca took their time to get going in Valencia. Aside from an early Luis Suarez effort that was comfortably dealt with, it wasn’t until Messi slipped in Antoine Griezmann after half an hour that Aitor Fernandez was truly tested.
The Frenchman was heavily involved at both ends and repeatedly got back to help out defensively, per Covering Futbol:
The breakthrough came when Jorge Miramon brought down Blaugrana full-back Nelson Semedo in the penalty area, and Messi converted the resulting spot-kick.
ESPN’s Samuel Marsden offered an update on the Argentinian’s numbers for the season:
The game quickly changed just after the hour-mark when Levante took advantage of some sloppy play at the back and Campana rifled the ball past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Before the Catalan side could recover, they were behind when Mayoral turned and fired in from 20 yards out.
Radoja added a third when his shot hit Sergio Busquets, leaving Ter Stegen helpless.
Squawka’s Muhammad Butt laid the blame at manager Ernesto Valverde’s feet:
Messi thought he’d scored a second soon after, but his effort was disallowed for an offside against Griezmann.
The forward picked out Ansu Fati as Barca sought a way back into the contest, but the 17-year-old headed straight at Fernandez.
Barcelona have now lost three times in all competitions at Levante since May last year.
Barcelona host Slavia Prague in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday before welcoming Celta Vigo to the Camp Nou in La Liga next Saturday. The following day, Levante face Athletic Bilbao in league play.