Highlights of Sunday night’s 5-0 win over Levante at the Ciutat de València
FC Barcelona have kept their one hundred per cent record in La Liga alive, and also made it four clean sheets in so many games. On Sunday, the consolidated their place at the top of the table with an emphatic 5-0 against Levante at the Ciutat de València with goals from Neymar, Rakitic, Sandro, Pedro and Messi.
Now you can enjoy full highlights of the game.
The unbeaten record, the first goal, the red card and the performances of Rakitic and Messi were among the talking points this evening at the Ciutat de València
Clean sheet. In four wins in four games, Barça have not conceded a single goal. It’s the first time the club has ever survived so far in a season without letting in a goal, and equals Atlético Madrid’s record set back in 1991/92. Tonight, Claudio Bravo saved both of Levante’s two shots on target.
Neymar breaks the deadlock. It looked like this was going to be a very similar affair to the one against APOEL in the Champions League, but the Brazilian striker scuppered Levante’s defensive plans. After two failed attempts, the third went past Jesús after 34 minutes. Neymar was very active in the first half, displaying the very best of his skill and flair. He left the game in the second half, and led the team in dribbles (4) and shot (4).
Levante down to 10. The home side controlled the situation very well up until Neymar’s opening goal, but seven minutes after that setback, they found themselves in deeper water when Vyntra was sent off and a penalty was given against them. Messi missed the spot kick, but there would be four more Barça goals to come.
Rakitic opportunistic. The Croat was involved in two of the most important actions of the match. His 14th minute goal-line clearance, after chasing Víctor Casadesús half the length of the pitch, was providential. Half an hour later, Rakitic got his first ever goal for Barça, a thunderbolt of a strike just before half-time.
Messi the goal-giver. The Argentinian more than made up for missing that first half penalty. He supplied goals for both Neymar and Sandro and then got one himself late on with a deft chip. The only player to have appeared in all five official matches this season has five goals and six assists to his name.
Several players have posted their reactions after the glorious display tonight at the Ciutat de València
[View the story “Levante UD – FC Barcelona (0-5)” on Storify]
The manager was happy with absoutely everything he saw his team do in tonight’s 5-0 win at Levante
“We’ll talk about our league position later, we’ve hardly played any games yet” he added
Barça beat Levante to continue both their unbeaten record and keep yet another clean sheet, which Luis Enrique feels “goes to show even more our idea of playing as team … Rather than singling anyone out in particular, I’ll just say that I was happy with all of them.”[[CITA_1]]
After four wins in four games, Barça stay comfortably at the top of the table, although the coach insists it’s too early to draw conclusions: “We’ll talk about our league position later, we’ve hardly played any games yet” he said. “But I’m glad we dealt so well with a game after having the Champions League midweek. That’s always difficult.”
“Every game throws up different complications and sometimes things work out for the better, sometimes not” he continued. “The goals that wouldn’t come against APOEL did come against Levante. We need to work out solutions for anything that our opponents might do.” [[CITA_2]]
But although he had said that he wasn’t going to single any one player out for praise, it was impossible not to admit that he’d been impressed by Leo Messi, who showed his talent not just for goals but also for assists this evening. “Once again we’re talking about a very special, unique player” he said. “I love it when the players connect so well with each other like that.”
I’m glad we dealt so well with a game after having the Champions League midweek
Messi is a very unique, special player. I love it when the players connect so well like that
Barça put five past Levante in Valencia tonight, with Neymar, Rakitic, Sandro, Pedro and Messi all on target
Levante boss Luis Mendilibar clearly sent his team out with instructions to defend deep and try and hit Barça on the break and before Neymar broke the deadlock, it almost worked with only a brilliant last gasp tackle from Rakitic keeping out Casedesus on 14 minutes and Morales just failing to connect with a header soon afterwards. Barça continued to probe, with Neymar and Alba creating danger down the left. Neymar had already had three chances before just past the half hour mark he peeled off the last man, as Messi found him with a brilliant through ball. This time the Brazilian made no mistake, rounded the keeper and made it 1-0 as the Messi-Neymar partnership struck again.
Five minutes later Barça looked set to double their lead when Messi was brought down in the box, but the Argentinean shot wide from the spot. With Vytner shown red for the penalty, Levante were down to ten and when just before the break Rakitic hit a beautifully struck volley from 35 yards to make it two, there could be few doubts about who’d be taking the three points.
Sandro and Pedro seal the win
There was a moment of worry for Barça as Neymar went down at the start of the first half and although he seemed to be okay, he was subbed for Sandro as a precaution and the Barça B youngster made his presence felt with his first touch, turning in Messi’s squared ball to make it three on 57 minutes. Barça, and especially Messi, were hungry for more goals though and Pedro was on hand on 64 minutes to put away Jordi Alba’s cut back after the Catalan had surged through on the right.
And Messi gets his rewards!
With Xavi and Sergi Roberto on for Busquets and Iniesta, Barça showed their strength in depth and the tireless Messi got his rewards with goal number 5 on 77 minutes when he latched onto a poor clearance, beat two defenders and chipped the keeper with a sublime piece of skill.
So it’s 12 points from 12, 11 goals scored and none conceded for Luis Enrique’s team, who’ve made an impressive start to their three game week, with Malaga and Granada next up.