Levante vs Barcelona


Starting XI: Cillessen; Semedo, Murillo, Chumi, Miranda; Vidal, Busquets, Aleñá; Malcom, Dembélé, Coutinho (4-3-3).
Bench: Ter Stegen, Arthur, Roberto, Puig, Denis ,Lenglet, Wagué.


Starting XI: Aitor; Coke, Cabaco, Postigo, Chema, Simon; Rochina, Prcic, Campaña; Boateng, Mayoral (5-3-2).
Bench: Koke, López, Dwamena, Jason,Toño, Doukouré, Morales.

Barcelona’s current iron grip on the Copa del Rey came under threat as they lost 2-1 at Levante in their last-16 first-leg tie on Thursday after resting a host of first-team regulars, including Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Barca, who have succeeded the last four(4) editions of the Spanish Cup, fell behind in the fourth(4) minute when slack marking from a free-kick saw Erick Cabaco head home while Borja Mayoral, on loan from Real Madrid, doubled Levante’s lead in the 18th.

Substitute Jose Luis Morales spurned a remarkable opportunity to strike a third(3) goal for the home side which would have seriously damaged Barca’s expectations of staying in the competition.

But the Catalans were handed a large boost heading into subsequent Thursday’s second(2) leg at the Nou Camp when Denis Suarez was fouled in the penalty area and record-signing Philippe Coutinho converted the resulting spot-kick in the 85th minute.

Barcelona’s Denis Suarez was one of three players thrown on by Ernesto Valverde and the midfielder, linked with a move away from the club this month, gained the punishment which Coutinho netted to boost the opportunities of turning the tie around next week.