Levante 2-1 Barcelona: Shuffled Catalans set back in Valencia

Philippe Coutinho scored a late penalty to improve Barca's position for the second leg

Malcom no acertó a batir a Aitor Fernández
Malcom no acertó a batir a Aitor Fernández | VALENTÍ ENRICH

The kings of the Copa del Rey have to fight for their crown.

Rik Sharma

@riksharma_

MATCH FACTS

Copa del Rey

LEV

2-1

FCB

Levante UD

Aitor Fernández; Coke, Postigo, Cabaco, Chema (Jason, 69'); Prcic, Campaña, Rochina (Doukouré, 75'), Simon; Boateng (Morales, 62') y Borja Mayoral.

FC Barcelona

Cillessen; Semedo, Murillo, Chumi (Lenglet, 58'), Miranda (Sergi Roberto, 46'); Sergio Busquets, Aleñá, Arturo Vidal; Coutinho, Dembélé y Malcom (Denis Suárez, 67').

Goles

1-0 M. 4 Cabaco. 2-0 M. 18 Borja Mayoral. 2-1 M. 85 Coutinho (P).

Árbitro

De Burgos Bengoetxea (vasco). Mostró tarjeta amarilla a Prcic y Cabaco, por el Levante y a Jeison Murillo, Aleñá, Chumi y Sergio Busquets, por el Barça.

Incidencias

Partido de ida de los octavos de final de la Copa del Rey, disputado en el estadio Ciutat de València ante 17.614 espectadores.

Barcelona have won the competition in each of the past four seasons and 30 times in total, more than anyone, but the goal this season is the Champions League and with that came heavy rotation from coach Ernesto Valverde.

Levante flew out of the blocks, looking to punish a weakened Barcelona side, and did just that.

They took only four minutes to move ahead, with Erick Cabaco rising highest to head home the opening goal from a wide free-kick against a makeshift Barcelona defence.

Jeison Murillo was handed his debut after the loan move from Valencia, alongside youth teamers Miranda and Chumi.

It was a harrowing start to life, which got worse when Borja Mayoral beat the Colombian, who wasn’t close enough, to tuck home the second past Jasper Cillessen.

Barca should have hit back but Malcom fluffed his lines with a weak effort when through on goal and then Ousmane Dembele mixed up his feet when he should have scored.

Chumi found it hard to deal with the electric Emmanuel Boateng, who scored a hat-trick in the 5-4 win Levante enjoyed over Barcelona at the end of last season, which stopped the Catalans going unbeaten.

At the other end Dembele couldn’t get a shot away when well placed and then his cross nearly found Malcom but the Brazilian was inches away from reaching it after throwing himself at the ball.

Barca pulled a goal back late on when substitute Denis Suarez was fouled in the box by Coke and Coutinho slotted in the penalty, giving the Catalans a platform for next week’s second leg.

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