Barcelona coach Valverde defends Mina after Levante fire home five


Barcelona's 43-game unbeaten run and season in La Liga was ended by a determined Levante team who overcame the Champions 5-4 on Sunday night, thanks to a hattrick from Ghanaian youngster, Emmanuel Frimpong.

Boateng on target on 9′.

But Levante, against the odds, took the game to the La Liga giants, with Boateng earning a hattrick and Enis Bardhi scoring.

Coutinho pulls a goal back on 38′.

Boateng hat-trick on 49′.

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Bardhi's blistering shot restored the two-goal advantage before Boateng completed his hat-trick as Barca's defence was ripped apart again on the break. Jordi Alba's pass was intercepted in midfield and worked to the edge of Barca's box, where Moraes' cut back was bent into the top corner by Eris Bardhi to further make the impossible look easy.

The five-time Ballon d'Or victor was left at home to rest while Barcelona's record-breaking 43-game unbeaten streak in the league was snapped by the hosts in the Catalan's penultimate fixture of the 2017-18 campaign.

The visitors to the Estadi Ciutat de Valencia had chances early on, with Coutinho seemingly overconfident with his first shot.

Bardhi curled in a shot within the first minute of the second half to make it 3-1.

He doubled the lead on 30 minutes after rounding up Barcelona goalkeeper Marc- Andre ter Stegen and cooly slotting in, evading defender Nelson Semdo.

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Coutinho though found the target, with a deflected drive following a surging run from Gerard Pique, who had replaced the injured Thomas Vermaelen.

The fifth goal woke up Barca, however, and the champions suddenly came out fighting with three goals in the space of 12 minutes.

"To score five goals against Barcelona is nearly impossible, but our motto all week has been "nothing is impossible" and we have achieved something historic", Lopez said.

Boateng then upended Busquets with 71 minutes played to leave referee Mario Melero with no choice to point to the spot, leaving Suarez to reduce to deficit to just one goal.

59 mins: 5-2 - Coutinho slams home from close range after Suarez's shot is blocked, but surely they can not come back?

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Barca were not without their chances in the remaining minutes, but Suarez failed to hit the target with a header from a Coutinho free-kick, although late Levante substitute Ruben Rochina almost added a sixth ahead of the final whistle.