Jan 19, 2014 at 6pm UK at ‚ÄčEstadi Ciutat de Valencia
Levante
1-1
Barcelona
Vyntra (10')
Ivanschitz (82'), Juanfran (89'), Pinto (91')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Pique (19')
Mascherano (34')

Match Analysis: Levante 1-1 Barcelona

Match Analysis: Levante 1-1 Barcelona
© Getty Images
Sports Mole dissects the action as Levante hold Barcelona to a 1-1 draw in Valencia.

Barcelona missed the chance to move three points clear at the top of La Liga following a 1-1 draw with Levante in Valencia.

The home side led inside 10 minutes through Loukas Vyntra, but a Gerard Pique header left the scores level at the interval.

Both teams had chances in the second period, but neither could make the breakthrough as Levante secured a point against the champions.

Here, Sports Mole dissects the 90 minutes of action between the two La Liga rivals.

Match statistics

Levante
Shots: 7
On target: 4
Possession: 26%
Corners: 2
Fouls: 13

Barcelona
Shots: 16
On target: 5
Possession: 74%
Corners: 8
Fouls: 11

Was the result fair?

Without question. Usually when Barcelona fail to pick up three points, it can be argued that they were unlucky, but Levante were more than worth a share of the spoils this evening. Even in the latter stages with Barcelona dominating possession, Levante were prepared to commit players forward in search of the win. It was a composed and confident performance from the home side.

Levante's performance

It would be fair to say that Levante have been inconsistent this season, but they were extremely impressive this evening. They managed to score during their best spell of the match, which is always the key against the top teams. It would have been easy to crumble after they were pegged back by Pique, but they managed to completely quell the threat from the likes of Lionel Messi, Pedro and Alexis Sanchez, who were all non-existent. Defensively, they were just terrific on their own patch.

Barcelona's performance

When the Spanish champions levelled at 1-1, it appeared that they would go on to dominate and eventually collect all the points. However, Levante had not read the script. Barca's deficiencies from set pieces were again exposed, but it was in the final third where they were the most disappointing. Too many of their attacking players had quiet evenings, while they lacked a threat from the full-back positions.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Loukas Vyntra: It isn't as if the Greek has come from nowhere this season. On form, he is one of the most talented defenders in the league. He scored the opener with a fine header this evening, but it was his towering display in the back four that impressed the most. The centre-back simply did not put a foot wrong.

Biggest gaffe

It was a story of two set pieces in the first period, with the marking from both sides non-existent. Cesc Fabregas failed to track Vyntra as the Levante defender sent the home side into the lead, but the marking from the hosts was just as bad when Pique was allowed to rise above David Navarro down the other end. Neither team looked comfortable from free kicks throughout the 90 minutes.

Referee performance

Neither manager will have had any complaints about the performance of Spanish official Carlos del Cerro this evening. In truth, it was not a particularly untidy match in terms of challenges, but he did stop the play when deemed necessary. The fact we had such an entertaining match is credit to the referee.

What next?

Levante: Levante welcome Barcelona once more on Wednesday in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-finals.

Barcelona: The Catalan outfit will attempt to return to winning ways in this stadium when they return to Valencia next week in the Copa del Rey.

Barcelona's Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez vies with Levante's Greek defender Nikos Karampelas during the Spanish league football match Levante UD vs FC Barcelona at the Ciutat de Valencia Stadium in Valencia on January 19, 2014
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona87102432122
2Valencia963022101221
3Real Madrid8521157817
4Atletico MadridAtletico8440135816
5Sevilla951395416
6Real Betis95131917216
7Leganes842273414
8Real Sociedad84131917213
9Villarreal84131110113
10Celta Vigo83231813511
11Athletic Bilbao8323109111
12Levante9252911-211
13Getafe9234111019
14Espanyol8233711-49
15Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo8224916-78
16EibarEibar8215317-147
17GironaGirona8134713-66
18Las PalmasLas Palmas8206718-116
19AlavesAlaves9108314-113
20Malaga8017418-141
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