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Barça tripped by Levante in Copa del Rey

IANS  |  Valencia (Spain) 

A steady side bested holders 2-1 in the 1st leg of their knockout stage tie.

Without Lionel Messi, and other regular starters in the line-up, Barça struggled to adapt to the pace set by the hosts from the start of the contest at here on Thursday, reports

scored off their first opportunity.

Erick Cabaco's header off a free kick put the home aside up 1-0 in the 4th minute, while it took a great effort by to deny just minutes later.

But the reprieve turned out to be brief as scored for in the 18th minute with an assist from Boateng.

While the visitors improved after going down 2-0, Levante were stalwart in defence and keeper enjoyed a quiet first half.

The area in front of the Levante net remained a fortress well into the second half and the hosts had chances on the counter to extend their advantage although they seemed reluctant to take any unnecessary risks against talent-laden

Barcelona came to dominate possession in the final phase of the contest and a foray by drew a foul in the 84th minute.

The referee pointed to the spot and converted to cut the deficit to 2-1 but Levante hung on to seal the victory.

--IANS

ajb/mr

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 11 2019. 13:14 IST
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