Jan 19, 2014 at 6pm UK at ​Estadi 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

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
Read Next:
Result: Barca held by Levante
>
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona1916305294351
2Atletico MadridAtletico2012712992043
3Valencia20124441212040
4Villarreal2010462822634
5Real Madrid1895432171532
6Sevilla2010282628-232
7EibarEibar198382431-727
8GironaGirona207672929027
9Getafe207672520527
10Real Betis198383336-327
11Athletic Bilbao206862322126
12Celta Vigo197483327625
13Leganes187381517-224
14Espanyol206681625-924
15Real Sociedad196583334-123
16Levante203981628-1218
17AlavesAlaves1960131427-1318
18Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo1944112137-1616
19Las PalmasLas Palmas2042141647-3114
20Malaga1932141333-2011
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