Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez net in Barcelona win over Levante
Barcelona 3 - 0 Levante

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez net in Barcelona win over Levante

07/01/2018

Lionel Messi marked his 400th LaLiga appearance with an early goal as leaders Barcelona beat Levante 3-0 at the Nou Camp to restore their nine-point advantage.

Philippe Coutinho has headed to Catalonia to complete the formalities of his ВЈ142 million transfer from Liverpool, but it remained business as usual for Ernesto Valverde's men on Sunday afternoon as Messi opened the scoring after 12 minutes.

In-form Luis Suarez, who himself left Anfield for the Nou Camp during the summer of 2014, added a second before the break and Paulinho tapped in a late third as the Blaugrana consolidated first place ahead of Atletico Madrid, who had beaten Getafe on Saturday.

Midfielder Ousmane Dembele, fit again after suffering a hamstring injury on his LaLiga debut following a ВЈ93m move, came back into the starting XI, while Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta made his 650th appearance.

After a positive start from Levante, who had lost all 11 La Liga games at the Nou Camp, Barcelona swept into the lead.

Jordi Alba nodded the ball back out to the edge of the penalty area, which dropped straight into the path of Messi, and the Argentine playmaker sent a half-volley in off the post.

It was Messi's 365th league goal for Barcelona -- and the hosts were soon looking for another as Dembele's effort was saved, with Suarez sending the rebound just over.

Levante offered a threat at the other end on 19 minutes when Marc-Andre ter Stegen had to be alert to push a low shot from Ivi Lopez behind.

Barcelona, though, added a second after 37 minutes.

Sergi Roberto was played clear on the overlap down the right, and he cut the ball back to Suarez, who took the ball in his stride with a fine first touch before crashing a volley in off the underside of the crossbar.

Midfielder Ivan Rakitic saw his shot fly wide and, in first-half stoppage time, Levante keeper Oier Olazabal produced a decent save after Messi had been played clear.

Levante almost reduced the deficit at the start of the second half when Lopez again forced Ter Stegen into a fine reaction save.

The Barcelona keeper had to be alert again on 65 minutes as he stuck out a leg to block a low shot from Shaquell Moore, who had ghosted in at the far post.

Suarez, who had scored four goals in his previous three LaLiga matches, was sent clear by a long pass from Javier Mascherano. The striker's first scuffed shot was blocked and his angled effort from the rebound saved at the near post by Olazabal.

With three minutes left, there was some concern when Alba went down clutching his knee following an awkward fall after challenge against Levante substitute Samuel. The defender, though, was able to continue following treatment.

Barcelona added a third in stoppage time when Paulinho tapped in from close range after Suarez stepped over a low cross from Messi.

Related news

Real Madrid make Santiago Solari permanent manager until 2021

Real Madrid make Santiago Solari permanent manager until 2021

Real Madrid announced on Tuesday that interim manager Santiago Solari has signed a contract to make him the permanent coach of the club until 2021.

Karim Benzema stars as Real Madrid maintain winning run under Santiago Solari

Karim Benzema stars as Real Madrid maintain winning run under Santiago Solari

Real Madrid notched a fourth straight win under interim coach Santiago Solari by winning 4-2 at Celta Vigo on Sunday to move to within four points of La Liga leaders Barcelona.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi returns from injury as Real Betis stun Camp Nou

Barcelona's Lionel Messi returns from injury as Real Betis stun Camp Nou

Lionel Messi scored twice on his return to action following a broken arm but could not stop Barcelona suffering a surprise defeat at home to Real Betis.

Diego Godin shakes off injury to give Atletico Madrid win over Athletic Bilbao

Diego Godin shakes off injury to give Atletico Madrid win over Athletic Bilbao

Atletico Madrid twice came from behind to pull off a thrilling 3-2 win at home to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, completing their comeback with a stoppage-time header from limping captain Diego Godin.

Sevilla fall further behind leaders Barcelona with draw at Real Sociedad

Sevilla fall further behind leaders Barcelona with draw at Real Sociedad

Sevilla failed to capitalise on a weekend of slip-ups for La Liga's chasing pack when they were held to a goalless draw away to Real Sociedad on Sunday, opening up a four-point gap behind leaders and champions Barcelona.

Luis Suarez goal completes late comeback, puts Barcelona four points clear

Luis Suarez goal completes late comeback, puts Barcelona four points clear

Late goals from Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez earned La Liga champions Barcelona a 3-2 win at struggling Rayo Vallecano on Saturday to keep them clear at the top of the standings.

Atletico Madrid blow chance to lead La Liga following Leganes draw

Atletico Madrid blow chance to lead La Liga following Leganes draw

Atletico Madrid threw away the chance to go top of La Liga by conceding a late equaliser to draw 1-1 away to neighbours Leganes on Saturday as their miserable run at the Madrid minnows dragged on.

Vinicius Jr. makes difference as Real Madrid win in Solari's La Liga debut

Vinicius Jr. makes difference as Real Madrid win in Solari's La Liga debut

Real Madrid ended their long wait for a La Liga victory by beating Real Valladolid 2-0 on Saturday with two late goals in interim coach Santiago Solari's first home game in charge of the struggling European champions.

Barcelona beat Cultural Leonesa in Copa del Rey with Clement Lenglet header

Barcelona beat Cultural Leonesa in Copa del Rey with Clement Lenglet header

Holders Barcelona scraped a 1-0 win at third-tier Cultural Leonesa thanks to Clement Lenglet's late header in their Copa del Rey first-leg match.

RELATED NEWS

Real Madrid make Santiago Solari permanent manager until 2021
Real Madrid news

Real Madrid make Santiago Solari permanent manager until 2021

Real Madrid announced on Tuesday that interim manager Santiago Solari has signed a contract to make him the permanent coach of the club until 2021.

Karim Benzema stars as Real Madrid maintain winning run under Santiago Solari
Celta 2 - 4 Real Madrid

Karim Benzema stars as Real Madrid maintain winning run under Santiago Solari

Real Madrid notched a fourth straight win under interim coach Santiago Solari by winning 4-2 at Celta Vigo on Sunday to move to within four points of La Liga leaders Barcelona.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi returns from injury as Real Betis stun Camp Nou
Barcelona 3 - 4 Real Betis

Barcelona's Lionel Messi returns from injury as Real Betis stun Camp Nou

Lionel Messi scored twice on his return to action following a broken arm but could not stop Barcelona suffering a surprise defeat at home to Real Betis.

Diego Godin shakes off injury to give Atletico Madrid win over Athletic Bilbao
Atletico Madrid 3 - 2 Athletic Bilbao

Diego Godin shakes off injury to give Atletico Madrid win over Athletic Bilbao

Atletico Madrid twice came from behind to pull off a thrilling 3-2 win at home to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, completing their comeback with a stoppage-time header from limping captain Diego Godin.

Sevilla fall further behind leaders Barcelona with draw at Real Sociedad
Real Sociedad 0 - 0 Sevilla

Sevilla fall further behind leaders Barcelona with draw at Real Sociedad

Sevilla failed to capitalise on a weekend of slip-ups for La Liga's chasing pack when they were held to a goalless draw away to Real Sociedad on Sunday, opening up a four-point gap behind leaders and champions Barcelona.

Luis Suarez goal completes late comeback, puts Barcelona four points clear
Rayo Vallecano 2 - 3 Barcelona

Luis Suarez goal completes late comeback, puts Barcelona four points clear

Late goals from Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez earned La Liga champions Barcelona a 3-2 win at struggling Rayo Vallecano on Saturday to keep them clear at the top of the standings.

Atletico Madrid blow chance to lead La Liga following Leganes draw
Leganes 1 - 1 Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid blow chance to lead La Liga following Leganes draw

Atletico Madrid threw away the chance to go top of La Liga by conceding a late equaliser to draw 1-1 away to neighbours Leganes on Saturday as their miserable run at the Madrid minnows dragged on.

Vinicius Jr. makes difference as Real Madrid win in Solari's La Liga debut
Real Madrid 2 - 0 Real Valladolid

Vinicius Jr. makes difference as Real Madrid win in Solari's La Liga debut

Real Madrid ended their long wait for a La Liga victory by beating Real Valladolid 2-0 on Saturday with two late goals in interim coach Santiago Solari's first home game in charge of the struggling European champions.

Barcelona beat Cultural Leonesa in Copa del Rey with Clement Lenglet header
Cultural Leonesa 0 - 1 Barcelona

Barcelona beat Cultural Leonesa in Copa del Rey with Clement Lenglet header

Holders Barcelona scraped a 1-0 win at third-tier Cultural Leonesa thanks to Clement Lenglet's late header in their Copa del Rey first-leg match.

DERBY OF THE WEEK
Tottenham Hotspur - Chelsea
Derby of the week
17:30
24/11/2018
Derby of the week
W 2.60    
   W 2.62
The odds are correct at the time of publishing
12-11-2018 13:30 and are subject to change
Football Live Scores
Tennis Live Scores