Sports

Barcelona Lose To Levante In Copa Del Rey

Barcelona Lose To Levante In Copa Del Rey

Levante shocked Barcelona 2-1 in the Copa Del Rey round of 16 first leg tie Thursday night.

The defending champions were heading for a convincing defeat following early goals from Erick Cabaco and Borja Mayoral, who is on loan from Barca's rivals Real Madrid.

The change paid off as Suarez won the visitors a penalty with five minutes remaining Coutinho stepped up and converted the spot-kick to reduce the deficit and hand Barca a precious away goal.

Sevilla will take a commanding lead into the second leg on home soil after they defeated Athletic Bilbao 3-1 at San Mames.

"When it came to picking the side, I thought that was the best team we could pick for the game", Valverde said in a news conference when asked if he regretted his team selection. "It's a risk, maybe, but these are the risks we take".

Munir is also out of the squad and the most prominent player rested is Lionel Messi, who delivered a masterclass on his last visit to the Ciutat de Valencia.

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The Brazilian star joined the club last January in a deal worth an estimated 160 million euros but the recent form of the former Liverpool man has become noticeable of late.

Coutinho has started only one of Barca's last five matches, and his form is a far cry from his displays after joining the club in the middle of last season.

"When [Ousmane] Dembele wasn't playing, everyone was asking me about him", Valverde responded when asked if Coutinho's unhappy with his lack of minutes at the moment. What the players have to do is work hard to revert the situation.

On Coutinho's situation, Busquets added: "Everyone wants to play".

Their displays have meant that Coutinho has been unable to nail down a position either in midfield or as part of the front three.


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