FC Barcelona‘s Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring during a Spanish La Liga soccer match against Levante at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona.
Messi took a season-high 10 shots and scored two goals, while assisting on a third, during Barcelona’s 4-1 win over Levante on Sunday. As it is though, his miss late on in the match saw his earlier conversion all but overlooked.
Messi scored twice in the game – with one of those a penalty – though he put another over the bar and has now missed six La Liga penalties in his Barcelona career.
Lionel Messi and Barcelona maintained their winning start to the season despite the Argentina star suddenly looking shaky from the penalty spot. They are two points above Real Madrid, Celta Vigo, Villarreal and Eibar.
With Barcelona 3-0 to the good after the hour, Luis Enrique handed a first-team debut to Gerard Gambau as a replacement for Sergio Busquets.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Luis Enrique dismissed suggestions that Messi’s penalty-taking proved that the 28-year-old forward was “human” after all, pointing to his invaluable contribution to Barça’s victory.
But the Catalan giants compensated for their first half misses as it only took 11 minutes for Messi and co to finish off the visitors in the second half. Martial became the most expensive teenager ever in a deal that raised eyebrows on deadline day, but now has three goals in two league games.
“To change the system is an option we have, and we tried it as we knew Levante would play with five defenders”.
Bartra opened the scoring from inside the area after a right-flank cross by Messi in the 50th, and Neymar increased the lead from close range after a cross by Dani Alves in the 56th.
In all they have shipped 15 in their last three games against Barcelona and 27 in their last 6. The young midfielder was discounted for quite a long time with harm to his front cruciate ligaments amid Wednesday night’s 1-1 Champions League draw with Roma.
“[Dani]Alves’s physical strength lets him play 90 minutes after recovering from an injury”.
Uruguay defender Jose Maria Gimenez said the current goal is to stay near the top of the table to be able to secure a Champions League spot at the end of the year.