Barcelona win, go three clear

Barcelona opened up a three-point lead at the top of the Spanish La Liga standings as they saw off Levante 2-0 at Estadio Ciudad de Valencia on Sunday afternoon.

Barca looked to have opened the scoring after just three minutes as Lionel Messi poked home from Andres Iniesta’s through-ball, but the offside flag cut short any celebrations from the away fans.

The Catalan giants would eventually get their goal after 21 minutes, and it was a gift from the hosts as Jordi Alba’s delivery from out wide took a wicked deflection off David Navarro, who sent the ball past his own goalkeeper and into the back of the net.

Barcelona should have been 2-0 up with 25 minutes gone on the clock as Neymar got goal-side of his marker before squaring to Luis Suarez, but somehow the Uruguay international contrived to skew wide from just six yards out.

The visitors were almost made to pay dearly for that miss but Jefferson Lerma dragged a shot horribly wide after being played in behind the defence, while Morales was cruelly denied by the upright just moments later.

Barcelona looked to have weathered the storm after the break and appeared to double their advantage as Messi swept home from a Suarez delivery, but once again the Argentina international was denied by the linesman’s flag for offside.

With just one goal in it, Levante continued plugging away from an equaliser, and Deyverson came close to finding one after tearing in at the far-post looking to meet Tono’s delivery, only for the faintest of headers from Gerard Pique to send the ball beyond the reach of the forward.

The hosts would eventually pay the price for their misses as Barca added a second goal deep into stoppage time, Messi leading a blistering counter attack before feeding the ball through to Suarez, who this time made no mistake to slot the ball past the keeper and seal the three points.