Sep 21, 2014 at 8pm UK at ​Estadi Ciutat de Valencia
Levante
0-5
Barcelona

Luis Morales (39')
Vyntra (41')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Neymar (34'), Rakitic (44'), Ramirez (57'), Pedro (64'), Messi (77')
Mascherano (36'), Busquets (43')

Match Analysis: Levante 0-5 Barcelona

Ivan Rakitic of Barcelona celebrates scoring with his teammate Lionel Messi during the La Liga match against Levante on September 21, 2014
© Getty Images
Sports Mole dissects Barcelona's 5-0 victory over Levante as they return to the top of La Liga.

Barcelona continued their perfect start to the new La Liga season by thrashing Levante 5-0 on Sunday evening.

Neymar broke the deadlock in the 34th minute before Lionel Messi fired a penalty wide after being fouled by Loukas Vyntra, who was sent off for his tackle on the Argentine.

It would prove to be a comfortable evening for Barcelona following that incident as Ivan Rakitic, Sandro Ramirez, Pedro and Messi wrapped up an emphatic victory.

Below, Sports Mole takes a look at the key talking points from the game.

Match statistics

Levante
Shots: 9
On target: 2
Possession: 25%
Corners: 3
Fouls: 13

Barcelona
Shots: 17
On target: 8
Possession: 75%
Corners: 6
Fouls: 11

Was the result fair?

Yes, without a doubt. It was an easy night for Barcelona, and even the die hard Levante supporters will admit that their side were miles behind their rivals. The visitors dominated possession following a sluggish start, and the statistics are in no way deceiving.

Levante's performance

It's difficult to be critical of Levante's display. Jose Luis Mendilibar's side actually started pretty well, and created a few half-chances early on, but you sensed the game was over as soon as Neymar opened the scoring. Vyntra's red card certainly didn't help their cause, and their tired legs invited pressure from Barcelona in the second half.

Barcelona's performance

Worryingly for their rivals, Barcelona didn't even need to get out of third gear to score five goals. Of course, Luis Enrique's side will face tougher challenges, but this was another sign that the head coach is building a very good relationship with his players. Going forward they were predictably fast with their passing and movement, while Sergio Busquets and Rakitic controlled the midfield with impressive performances.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Lionel Messi: It was certainly a team performance tonight, but it won't surprise anyone to learn that Messi was superb once again. After hitting a penalty wide in the first half, the Argentine just got better and better as he linked up brilliantly with his teammates before rounding off a great display with a deserved goal.

Biggest gaffe

As if it isn't hard enough playing against Barcelona, the last thing you want to see is your goalkeeper throwing the ball to Jesus Fernandez. The Levante shot-stopper was caught in two minds as he set up Messi with the mistake, and the Barca ace took advantage with a classy chipped finish.

Referee performance

José Luis González González was forced to change the game with one of his decisions, but he had very little option other than to show Vyntra a red card for bringing down Messi, who looked set to find the back of the net from six yards out.

What next?

Levante: Mendilibar's search for a first win continues on Wednesday when they visit Granada.

Barcelona: Enrique's team will aim for a fifth successive league win against Malaga on Wednesday night.

Levante's midfielder Victor Camarasa (L) vies with Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar da Silva Santos Junior during the Spanish league football match on September 21, 2014
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Live Commentary: Levante 0-5 Barcelona - as it happened
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