Apr 20, 2013 at 7pm UK at ​Camp Nou
Fábregas (84')
Song (65')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Diop (33'), López (89')

Live Commentary: Barcelona 1-0 Levante - as it happened

Live Commentary: Barcelona 1-0 Levante - as it happened
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the La Liga clash at Camp Nou as Barcelona record a 1-0 win over Levante.

Barcelona welcomed Levante to the Camp Nou on Saturday knowing that another three points would move them closer to the league title.

The home side passed up a glorious chance to take the lead in the early stages when David Villa missed from the penalty spot after Andres Iniesta had been felled in the box.

Barcelona continued to force the issue in the second period, but they had to wait until the final five minutes before Cesc Fabregas secured the three points.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

6.52pmEvening all! Our penultimate La Liga live commentary of the day comes from Catalonia as Barcelona welcome Levante. The home side sit 10 points clear of Real Madrid at the start of play, while they know that another three points this evening would move them ever-closer to the crown. However, Levante will have revenge on their minds.

6.54pmThe away side currently sit in 12th position in the table, having taken 40 points from their 31 matches. They were in contention for a European place at the turn of the year, but a poor run of form has left them below mid-table. That said, they are comfortably clear of the relegation scramble.

6.56pmIn terms of the recent meetings between the two sides, it does not make good reading for Levante. In fact, Barcelona have won four of the last five matches between the two sides, scoring 11 goals in their last three games against their opponents this evening. However, Levante did hold Barcelona to a 1-1 draw in May 2011.


BARCELONA: Valdes; Alves, Montoya, Abidal, Adriano; Iniesta, Song, Thiago; Villa, Fabregas, Tello

LEVANTE: Navas; Navarro, Juanfran, Lopez, Vyntra; Diop, Barkero, Simao, El Zhar; Garcia, Acquafresca

0 minSo there we have it. Still no Lionel Messi for the home side, but Alexis Sanchez and Cristian Tello both start. Meanwhile, there are spots in defence for Eric Abidal and Martin Montoya. Levante boss Juan Ignacio, meanwhile, pairs Ruben Garcia with Acquafresca in attack. The home side get the action underway.

2 minIt really is wonderful to see Abidal in the Barcelona team this evening. What a moment for the Frenchman. Almost an explosive start from his side as Fabregas slides a pass towards Villa, but Juanfran is across to make the challenge. I suspect that it could be a long night for the away side.

4 minA quick word on the Levante team this evening. Juan Ignacio has made five changes from the side that were beaten 4-0 by Deportivo last weekend, including a change of goalkeeper with Navas replacing Munua. Half-chance for the away side as El Zhar finds Garcia outside the box, but his effort is deflected wide by Dani Alves.

6 minHalf-chance for Fabregas as the Spaniard collects possession outside the box before striking an effort towards the top corner, but Pedro Lopez makes a fine block. Fabregas whips the resulting corner into the box, but Navas is out to collect. Bright opening six minutes, but no real chances for either side thus far.

8 minLevante continue their bright start to the match as Garcia finds himself in space on the edge of the box, but his effort is curled wide of the post. Barcelona advance down the other end moments later with Tello, but his pass towards Iniesta is loose. Sloppy passing by Barcelona's standards thus far.

10 minBarcelona have just taken control of the possession in the last few minutes, but have not really threatened to open the scoring. There is a strange atmosphere in the stadium, meanwhile, with the home supporters almost waiting for something to happen. The home side are just knocking on the door, but it isn't opening.

12 minIt is almost like a pre-season match at the moment as Levante knock possession around in their own half, but they are not really going anywhere with it. A loose pass presents the ball to Thiago, who attempts to find Villa, but Juanfran makes the clearance. This match really needs a goal.

14 minBarcelona are more than happy to keep possession in their own half at the moment rather than actively attempting to open the scoring. Meanwhile, they have not really tested Levante in the wide areas. You just wonder whether Barcelona have their minds on Bayern Munich. Low-key opening 14 minutes to this match.

16 minCHANCE! Just about the clearest opportunity of the match for the home side as Thiago meets a cross from Tello, but his effort never had enough power to really trouble the goalkeeper. Better from Barcelona, but Levante have not been overworked thus far.

17 minReally sloppy from Tello once more as the Spaniard hands away possession in the Levante half. The away side do not have too much to play for in the remaining weeks of the season, which is being shown in their performance. It really has been a poor opening 18 minutes to this match, which is rarely the case with Barcelona.


18 minThe home side are awarded a penalty as Simao is adjudged to have felled Iniesta in the penalty area. Even the Spanish midfielder has not appealing. Strange from the referee.

18 minSAVE! It's a poor penalty from Villa, whose effort is saved by Navas. Some may say that justice has been done. That just about sums up their opening to this match. Half-chance for Garcia down the other end, but his effort is high and wide of the crossbar.

21 minBarcelona continue to dominate the possession in the Levante half, but they just cannot find that elusive final pass. Good work from Tello almost presents an opportunity moments later, but his cross towards Villa is cleared by Navarro. Levante will be very content with their opening 21 minutes to this match.

23 minNo signs of rustiness from Abidal, meanwhile, as the Frenchman takes control of a loose ball before evading Garcia. The Levante striker does gain a shooting chance moments later, but Alves is on hand to make the block. The crowd are dead silent inside the Camp Nou, which is not helping the players.

25 minIt is almost like a training match as Barcelona continue to enjoy possession in the Levante half, but the away side have defended impressively thus far. Iniesta does find the run of Villa in the box moments later, but Vyntra is across to clear. Meanwhile, not too much for the away supporters to get excited about.

27 minNever mind second gear, Barcelona have not been out of first gear thus far this evening. Tello is again involved down the right, but his cross is cleared by Simao. Alves delivers a dangerous cross moments later, but once more Pedro Lopez is first on the scene. Still 0-0 with 27 minutes on the clock.

30 minHalf-chance for the home side as Iniesta tries his luck from outside the box, but his effort was always straight at the goalkeeper. Just a reminder that following the completion of this match we have action from Valencia against Malaga. Be sure to join us for that. Right, Barcelona once more on the attack with little over 15 minutes of the half remaining.

32 minIt's good work from Fabregas as the Spaniard collects possession outside the box before finding Iniesta, but Fabregas is penalised for handball, which is another strange decision. This is just about as poor as Barcelona have been this season, but Levante have not offered any attacking threat, which tells you something about their performance thus far.

35 minEven Iniesta is going through the motions at the moment as he loses possession in the Levante half. You have to go back to October 2011 for the last time that Barcelona failed to score in the league at the Camp Nou, a stalemate with Sevilla. The goal almost arrives as Tello strikes from close range, but his effort smashes into the side netting.

37 minGood grief Dani Alves has almost brought the crowd to his feet as he thumps a free kick from all of 40 yards, but Navas gets down low to make the save. It is a save that you would expect your goalkeeper to make, but it was struck with some power. Villa is involved in the box moments later, but once more it comes to nothing.

39 minNot too much to report in the last couple of moments with Levante enjoying a spell of possession in the Barcelona half. There is no question that the home side have one eye on the Champions League clash with Bayern Munich next week, but Levante have not been good enough to take advantage. Little over five minutes of the first period remaining.

42 minIt's better from the home side as Villa finds Alves down the right, the Brazilian delivers a first-time cross into the box, but Tello cannot make contact. Villa does have an effort from close range moments later, but Juanfran takes one flush in the face. Much better football from Barcelona with 42 minutes on the clock.

44 minI suspect that if you had said to Juan Ignacio that his side would be level at the interval he would have been delighted, well they are a couple of moments away from achieving that. El Zhar attempts to cause a problem down the right, but Adriano fells the former Liverpool winger.

45 minHalf-chance for Acquafresca as the Italian moves beyond Abidal, Diop finds the pass, but the striker had moved into an offside position. Villa has a strike from distance moments later, but Navas makes the save. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional one minute of football.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Barcelona 0-0 Levante

7.48pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with the two sides level at 0-0. In truth, Barcelona have not been out of first gear thus far. They gained a fortunate penalty in the early stages, but Villa's effort was pushed wide by Navas.

7.53pmSTATISTICS: The home side have had a whopping 80% of the possession in the first period, while they have had seven attempts to Levante's two. The fact that Barcelona are playing within themselves but Levante have not had a shot on target tells the whole story of the first period.

7.58pmBENCH WATCH: The home side have an embarrassment of riches on the bench in the shape of Sanchez, Jordi Alba and Pedro. Meanwhile, Levante have the likes of Pedro Rios, Valdo and Roger Marti in reserve. There are certainly goals in that list of players.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. No changes for either side which is not too surprising at this stage of the match. As it stands, Barcelona would move 11 points clear of second-placed Real Madrid. Levante get the half underway.

48 minBright start to the half from Levante as El Zhar collects possession down the left before delivering a low cross into the box, but Abidal is across to make the challenge. Tello has possession down the other end moments later, but once more the Spaniard's pass is wayward.

50 minAcquafresca has the ball in the back of the net following a stunning finish, but the linesman had his flag raised. You just get the feeling that the first goal - if there indeed is one - could play a major role in the final result. But you question whether Levante actually believe that they can win this match.

52 minSlight panic in the Levante defence as Juanfran slices an Iniesta shot wide of the post. The resulting corner is whipped in by the Spaniard, but Navas comes to claim the danger. Meanwhile, slight problem for Diop as he hits the deck, but it does appear that he will be fit to continue.

54 minThat just about sums up the evening for Barcelona as Iniesta floats a pass straight out of play. You would have thought that they would have started the second period like a house on fire, but that has simply not been the case. However, Levante are still struggling to offer something in the final third.

56 minIniesta shows his class moments later as he finds Tello on the left with a clever flick, but his cross is straight into the arms of the Levante goalkeeper. Still no movement on either bench, although I expect that will change in the next 10 minutes or so. There is just no tempo to this La Liga encounter.

58 minTello again attempts to craft something in a wide area, but the Spaniard cannot evade the challenge of Pedro Lopez. Barcelona want a penalty moments later as Villa backs into Navarro in the box, but the referee is not interested. Little over 30 minutes of football remaining at the Camp Nou, with the two sides level at 0-0.

61 minBarcelona make the first change of the match as Xavi enters the field in place of Iniesta, who has not really been at the races this evening. Not a bad replacement to bring on at this stage of the match. Can the magician inspire his team to a goal? You would think that one goal would be enough to win it.

63 minNo movement on the Levante bench at the moment, but Juan Ignacio must be delighted with the way his players have performed thus far. However, you just get the feeling that Barcelona will fashion some chances in the latter stages. Plenty of possession for the home side, but not much else with 63 minutes on the clock.

65 minIt's good football from the home side as Xavi combines with Fabregas before finding Alves on the edge of the box, but the Brazilian cannot evade the challenge of Juanfran, who has been very impressive this evening. Little over 25 minutes of football remaining at the Camp Nou.

67 minHalf-chance for the away side this time as El Zhar delivers a dangerous cross into the box, but Valdes is out to claim at the vital moment. The Spanish goalkeeper finds Thiago down the other end, but once more the midfielder loses possession. Can Barcelona force a winner in the latter stages?

69 minEl Zhar is again involved moments later as he meets a cross from Garcia at the far post, but his header is over the crossbar. Tello is involved down the other end as he rounds Juanfran before winning a corner, but Navas comes to claim before Alves screws an effort wide moments later.

71 minMeanwhile, Barcelona make their second change of the match as Thiago is replaced by Pedro. I suspect that Vilanova would have wanted the likes of Pedro and Xavi to remain on the bench this evening, but needs must. Little under 20 minutes of football remaining at the Camp Nou.

73 minChange for the away side as Valdo enters the field in place of El Zhar. Again Barcelona attempt to force the issue around the edge of the box, but Fabregas is denied by Diop, who has been impressive this evening. The atmosphere is dead silent inside the stadium as each attack continues to break down. Very underwhelming evening in Barcelona.

75 minJust a reminder that Barcelona have scored 54 goals at home this season, while they have won all but one of their league fixtures at this stadium. The only team to leave with something was Real Madrid at the beginning of the season. But Levante are little more than 15 minutes away from becoming the second team. Can they hold on?

77 minIt's wonderful work from Xavi as the Spaniard drops his shoulder before striking an effort from outside the box, but it was always moving high and wide of the crossbar. You wonder whether an opposing goalkeeper has ever had such a comfortable evening in this stadium. But there is still time for goals in the latter stages.

80 minAnother half-chance for the away side as Navarro meets a free kick from Barkero, but his header was always moving high and wide of the crossbar. Meanwhile, Barcelona make their third and final change of the evening as Alexis Sanchez replaces Tello, who has really struggled this evening.

82 minBarcelona have scored in their last 29 league games in this stadium, but that record is under threat this evening. In truth, this is just about as poor as they have been for some time. Remember, this Levante side were thrashed 4-0 by Deportivo at home last weekend. It would certainly cause some waves if Levante could nick something late on here.

84 minBayern Munich have a number of scouts in attendance this evening, but you suspect that they would not have gained too much information from this Barcelona performance, with a number of changes expected next week. A free kick comes into the Levante box from Xavi, but Diop rises to clear the danger.

84 minCHANCE! Stunning opportunity for the home side to win it late on as Villa meets a cross from Alves, but he can only thump his effort over the target. What a miss for a player of his ability. The crowd have suddenly woken up. You just get the feeling that there will be some late drama here.

84 minGOAL! Barcelona 1-0 Levante (Fabregas)

85 minFinally Barcelona have their goal as Fabregas collects possession on the edge of the box before firing his effort into the bottom corner. It had been coming. That should be enough to pick up all the points.

87 minIt's harsh on Levante, but the pressure had been rising in the last few moments. Barcelona should be three points closer to the league title following the completion of this match. Do not rule out another goal in the final few minutes.

90 minFabregas comes close once more as he thumps an effort from outside the box, but Navas makes a fine save, while the goalkeeper is called into action moments later to deny Pedro from distance. Late change for the away side, meanwhile, as Marti replaces Garcia. The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes.

90 min+3Not too much to report in the last couple of moments with Barcelona comfortable with possession of the ball. Just a reminder that following the completion of this match we have action from Valencia. Little under a minute of football remaining.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Barcelona 1-0 Levante

8.52pmSo there we have it. Barcelona leave it late to secure all three points against Levante. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to remain with us for action from Valencia. Until then!

Pepe Reina
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