Valencia (Spain) (AFP) – Actual Madrid and Atletico Madrid every handed up the prospect to go prime of La Liga on Saturday after Barcelona conceded three targets in seven minutes throughout a shock 3-1 defeat by Levante.
Lionel Messi transformed a first-half penalty on the Metropolis of Valencia Stadium for his sixth objective in 5 video games just for Levante to stun the defending champions with an unbelievable treble shortly after the hour.
But Atletico and Sevilla performed out a 1-1 draw on the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, the place Diego Costa missed a penalty, earlier than Actual squandered a string of alternatives on the Santiago Bernabeu in a goalless draw in opposition to Actual Betis.
It means Barca might be relieved to remain on the summit – forward of Atletico by a degree with a sport in hand and in entrance of Actual on objective distinction – even when their collapse in opposition to Levante ought to provide encouragement to their title rivals.
In the meantime, Granada will overtake all of them in the event that they beat Actual Sociedad on Sunday.
“Every little thing unravelled,” mentioned Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde. “We did not begin the second half effectively, we weren’t creating probabilities and though they weren’t both they abruptly scored two targets. The third one damage us rather a lot.”
Jose Campana and Borja Mayoral scored within the 61st and 63rd minutes earlier than Nemanja Radoja added a 3rd within the 68th to depart their matted opponents with an excessive amount of to do.
After seven wins on the bounce in all competitions, Barca arrived in Valencia as overwhelming favourites, notably given the irresistible type of Messi, whose objective was the five hundredth of his profession along with his left foot.
“Opponents at all times play us prefer it is likely one of the largest video games of the 12 months,” Valverde added. “You need to have a solution.”
After any Barcelona defeat, Valverde’s future is a subject for dialogue. Requested if he was shocked by his gamers or would possibly take into account resignation, he mentioned: “No, to each questions.”
To make issues worse, Luis Suarez was pressured off within the forty first minute with an harm to his proper calf and would now look like a doubt for Tuesday’s Champions League sport at residence to Slavia Prague.
An unlucky half for Suarez had seen him booked for a foul dedicated by Arthur Melo however referee Hernandez Hernandez corrected his error after being made conscious by VAR.
Messi swept residence his penalty after Jorge Miramon introduced down Nelson Semedo and Messi may need made it two, however this time Miramon restored some credit score by clearing off the road.
– Seven-minute blitz flooring Barca –
Levante started the second half on the entrance foot however no one may have predicted what was to comply with. First, Pique’s under-hit clearance was punished, as Mayoral and Jose Luis Morales shifted the ball inside to Campana, who struck exhausting into the nook.
Then a free Carles Perez header allowed Mayoral house and he did brilliantly to curve previous the outstretched proper hand of Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
With the house followers nonetheless celebrating, Radoja made it three. Barcelona once more did not clear and Radoja’s effort may need been saved had Sergio Busquets, on instead, not brought about a merciless deflection.
Messi thought he had launched a comeback when he bundled by and poked in however Antoine Griezmann was offside and Levante would possibly even have made it 4 late on if Gonzalo Melero been extra exact.
It left Actual Madrid, Atletico and Sevilla all with the prospect to assert prime spot however none seized the initiative.
Actual are but to ascertain a constant run of outcomes, even when they created greater than sufficient probabilities to beat Betis and on one other day may need scored 5.
Eden Hazard noticed a much-needed objective dominated out and Sergio Ramos went shut too earlier than Karim Benzema skewed large on the again submit from 4 yards.
The perfect alternative fell to Ferland Mendy however, with solely Joel Robles to beat, he lifted his end up, over and large. Hazard had waved Mendy by and may need puzzled why he didn’t take the ball himself.
Betis rode their luck, notably when Zouhair Feddal dealt with within the field, whereas Vinicius Junior and Ramos hit the goalkeeper amid mad scrambles in injury-time.
Atletico may also rue probabilities missed, with Costa most responsible, his 72nd-minute penalty saved by Tomas Vaclik after Alvaro Morata cancelled out Franco Vazquez’s opener.