Barcelona vs. Levante score: Lionel Messi lifts Barca to much-needed La Liga win
FC Barcelona finally got back to winning in La Liga with a 1-0 victory over UD Levante on Sunday. The Blaugrana were coming off a domestic loss against Cadiz, and a Champions League group loss to Juventus ahead of Sunday's game against Levante, with Lionel Messi returning as the hero in front of goal once again.
Barcelona appeared to be standing in their own way during the first half, dominating Levante in nearly every category on the pitch, outshooting their opponent 13-4 over the first 45 minutes. But they were unable to execute in front of goal. Barca missed out on several opportunities, having seven shots on target, including an opportunity from Antoine Griezmann.
The second half would still see an active Barcelona attack, but with no goals to show for effort until Messi arrived with the eventual game-winner in the 76th minute.
Pressure on the ball from Martin Braithwaite and Frenkie de Jong forced a turnover, and de Jong was able to feed Messi through on a run. The Argentinian forward took a quick touch to settle before connecting far post, off the bar and into the goal. It was a historic goal for the long time Barcelona captain, as he scored his 600th goal wearing the No. 10.
It was the final blow for Levante, who, despite being out performed, were doing well to sustain the relentless attack from Barcelona up to that point. The team currently sits in 18th, among three spots for regulation in La Liga.
With the win, Barcelona now jump one place in the standings to 8th. Next week they will go head to head with La Liga table leaders Real Sociedad, who are undefeated in their last five matches and coming off a 1-1 draw against Eibar.