Goals from Erick Cabaco and Borja Mayoral helped Levante register a shock 2-1 win over Barcelona in the first leg of their round-of-16 tie in the Copa del Rey on Thursday night. A late Philippe Coutinho penalty kept Barcelona alive in the tie, with the second leg set to played on the 18th of January.
Here are three talking points from last night’s upset at Levante.
3. Levante Quick Off the Mark
The hosts started the game on the front foot and started troubling the Barcelona defence from the first minute. They got themselves ahead just after four minutes of play, as Erick Cabaco converted from Ruben Rochina’s free-kick after some sloppy defending from Barcelona.
14 minutes later, the hosts deservedly doubled their advantage, with Borja Mayoral hitting the back of the net after a smart piece of play by Emmanuel Boateng.
2. Another Sloppy Barcelona Performance
Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona may very well have a five-point advantage at the top of La Liga, but their performances this season haven’t always been up to the mark. Last night, we witnessed yet another unconvincing Barcelona show, which is bound to put some pressure on the Spaniard.
The Blaugrana looked disoriented at the back and were ripped apart time and again by a determined Levante side. Levante’s opener was almost a gift from Barcelona, who didn’t offer any resistance to the onrushing forwards.
1. Advantage Still Barcelona
Last night, Barcelona produced one of their worst performances of the season. However, despite their hapless display on the night, they’ll still have the advantage heading into the second leg, next Friday.
Due to injuries and a rigorous La Liga schedule, Valverde rested most of his first-team players at Levante, who, most definitely, will be in action, next week. Philippe Coutinho’s late penalty also handed Barcelona the crucial away goal, meaning the Catalans only need a 1-0 win in the second leg to win the tie.