Levante 3-3 Barcelona: 3-talking points as Levante mount a comeback, Barca’s title hopes all but over

Lionel Messi-Dembele-Barcelona

Levanted turned it around against Barcelona, coming from 2-0 down at half-time to scrape a 3-3 draw. Barca thought they were in the driving seat after goals from Lionel Messi and Pedri in the first half, but a lacklustre defensive performance in the second half saw them concede two goals in no time. Ousmane Dembele provided the breathing space for the visitors after scoring the third, but Levante came up with a late equalizer to conclude a thrilling contest.

Wreckless defence and the second half collapse not leaving Barcelona anytime sooner

Barcelona have been agonizingly poor in the second half in many of the games this season, and tonight was no different. 2-0 to 3-3 is not acceptable, especially when you need to win all of their games to be alive in the title race. The worrying thing is to watch the Catalans off the ball. Levante, like all other teams, were able to move the ball swiftly when Barca cedes possession. Once reaching the final third, the hosts didn’t need any creativity as simpler movements were enough to catch Barca’s defence off guard. Barca have another issue in defending set-pieces. From allowing the opponents to provide the cross to not picking out the players in the box, Barca lacks the basics of defending the long crosses, whether it is from open play or set-pieces.

Barca are wasteful with their chances

As Busquets spoke after the game that Barca should have capitalized their chances they had, it is another reason Barca have found themselves on the receiving end. Pedri wasted two golden opportunities in the first half, and Frenkie de Jong followed him in the second half as the Dutchman needs to polish his shooting boots.

Is Ronald Koeman the right man to lead Barca?

Ronald Koeman recently emphasized that he wants to be at the helm for the next season, but after tonight’s result, several questions would be raised, and of them would be his continuity at the club. The Dutchman duly deserves the credit for leading Barcelona in challenging time and creating a winning unit. Still, when the season is boiling down to the business end with the title at the stakes, Koeman gives the impression of what he had been in his previous spells – not an elite level manager. 

His in-game tactics and substitutions look more abrupt, as bringing in Sergi Roberto backfired. He had to be substituted again with Puig. It is whether Koeman can lead Barca to glory.