Levante Hand Barcelona Copa Del Rey Shock

VITORIA GASTEIZ SPAIN – APRIL 7

Barcelona head to Valencia on Thursday evening to take on Levante in the first leg of their Copa del Rey's round of 16 tie.

In the end, 2-1 was how the encounter ended as the Catalan giants will now fancy themselves to get the job done at the Camp Nou in the second leg.

Levante, who did enjoy a 5-4 La Liga win over Barcelona last season, were ahead after just four minutes through Cabaco as the defender rose highest to nod in Ruben Rochina's free-kick from six yards.

Valverde defended his team selection, insisting the injection of youngsters Juan Miranda and Chumi, along with new arrival Jeison Murillo, was a gamble worth taking.

Emmanuel Boateng squandered two good chances to double the advantage but made amends in the 18th minute, prodding through a pass for Real Madrid loanee Mayoral to dispatch into the bottom far corner.

Early goals from Erick Cabaco and Borja Mayoral were enough to give Levante victory over the defending champions.


The Brazil global netted Barca's only goal in a 2-1 defeat away to Levante on Thursday but delivered an overall poor performance - much to the frustration of the Blaugrana coaching staff.

The second half picked up from where the first off finished as Barca goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen was into action on two occasions by Mayoral and Moses Simon in the opening 15 minutes.

"But he (Coutinho) is a player which we consider as a starter and will be very important for us in the remainder of the season, for sure", he said.

Denis Suarez - strongly linked with a move to Arsenal - came off the bench in the 67th minute as a replacement for Malcom, who struggled to make his mark on the night.

The absence of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez hampered the holders' hopes of extracting a result although they do have a goal to take back to Camp Nou on January 17 thanks to Philippe Coutinho's potentially pivotal 85th-minute penalty.

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