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Levante vs. Barcelona: Final score 0-5, Blaugrana remain undefeated

Barca stayed perfect on the season with their fourth straight league victory.

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso

Between the fact that Levante were last place in La Liga entering the day and that Barcelona hadn't lost away against Les Granotes since 1965, the odds were always against the other club from Valencia on Sunday. Thanks to a red card late in the first half, the Blaugrana buried Levante under a five-goal avalanche to keep Barca perfect this season.

For the opening 30 minutes or so, Levante held their own against the Blaugrana, even managing to generate a couple of good chances of their own. If not for a timely block by Ivan Rakitić on one occasion, the Granotes would've taken a lead as well. Unfortunately for the home side, it's rarely a question of if Barca scores, but when.

Lionel Messi was the genesis of the opening goal in the 34th minute, using his ridiculously astute vision and skill to spot Neymar and deliver a pass into his path. Neymar lost his balance a bit as he stretched to get a touch, but he was still able to stay on his feet, dance past Jesús Fernandez and roll the ball into the empty net.

Five minutes later, Barcelona looked set to double their lead after Lionel Messi was tripped inside the penalty area. Loukas Vyntra was also shown a red card on the play, presumably for his protestations after the call because the tackle itself was in no way violent, or a denial of a goalscoring opportunity. Instead of a 2-0 lead though, Messi made a rare miscue and fired his penalty well wide of the post.

The second goal would come, just a few minutes after Messi's missed penalty. Ivan Rakitić's rocket from outside the area took a deflection on its way towards goal and flew past Jesús to give Barca a 2-0 lead at the break.

Neymar exited the match early in the second half after landing hard after a tackle. The Barca medic called for a sub, which was made, but Neymar seemed fine as he left the pitch, arguing with the physio and wanting to continue playing.

Neymar's replacement, Sandro Ramirez, took full advantage of his opportunity and extended Barca's lead to 3-0. Messi was again involved, setting up the 19-year-old for the precise finish past Jesús. A fourth goal came in the 64th minute off the boot of Pedro, putting the match completely out of reach for the Granotes.

Messi scored the fifth goal of the day for the Blaugrana, moving within one of the 400-goal mark for his career. As Jesús attempted a clearing throw, the ball slipped out of his hand and right to Messi on the edge of the area. Messi proceeded to dance left and right as the goalkeeper and a defender desperately tried to stay in front of him. Finally he created some space for himself and lofted a chip over a third defender to give Barca a 5-0 lead.

With the victory, Barcelona remains undefeated in La Liga play and they've still not allowed a goal this season in any competition.

Levante: Jesús, Toño, Vyntra, Rodas, López, Morales (Ivanschitz 58'), Simao, Pape Diop (Sissoko 61'), Camarasa, Casadesús, Barral (García 72')

Goals: None

Barcelona: Bravo, Alba, Mathieu, Mascherano, Alves, Busquets (Xavi 62'), Iniesta (Sergi 71'), Rakitić, Pedro, Messi, Neymar (Sandro 51')

Goals: Neymar (34'), Rakitić (44'), Sandro (57'), Pedro (64'), Messi (77')