Levante 2-3 Barcelona: Luuk de Jong's stoppage-time header seals seventh straight LaLiga win

By Sports Desk April 10, 2022

Barcelona sealed a seventh straight LaLiga win as Luuk de Jong's stoppage-time header earned a dramatic 3-2 victory over a Levante side who were awarded three penalties.

Jose Luis Morales' penalty seven minutes after the interval handed the hosts the lead, and they could have been 2-0 up moments later, yet Roger Marti's spot-kick was kept out by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Barcelona took advantage of that reprieve, moving 2-1 ahead within seven minutes of the miss thanks to goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Pedri.

Levante thought they had claimed a point when Gonzalo Melero slammed home from the spot with seven minutes remaining, but substitute De Jong popped up in added time to claim yet another maximum-points haul for the Blaugrana.

Related items

  • Nothing has changed: Xavi plays down reports he may stay on at Barcelona Nothing has changed: Xavi plays down reports he may stay on at Barcelona

    Barcelona boss Xavi insists “nothing has changed” regarding his future following rumours he could reverse his decision to depart the club in the summer.

    The former Barca and Spain midfielder, who is preparing for Sunday’s LaLiga game at fifth-placed Athletic Bilbao, announced in late January he would leave his role at the end of the season.

    Barcelona have picked up form since then, taking 13 points from a possible 15 to boost their faint hopes of overhauling leaders Real Madrid in the title race.

    “As of today, nothing has changed,” Xavi told a press conference.

    “There is no more story than that. It all remains the same and we focus on the next game.

    “It’s true we’ve done well recently; I see the team training great every day and the group of players is less tense than in the past.

    “But tomorrow is a whole new story, here at Barcelona you have a challenge every day.

    “The moment of the truth this season is coming, and we feel we have been good over the last weeks.”

    Third-placed Barcelona thrashed Getafe 4-0 last weekend to build on recent wins over Osasuna, Alaves and Celta Vigo and a 3-3 draw with Granada.

    The Catalan club will return to San Mames just over five weeks after suffering a 4-2 extra-time loss to Bilbao in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals.

    Xavi is braced for another tough test as his side seek to maintain momentum.

    “Athletic is the most intense team in the league,” he said. “And they are confident.

    “If we win, it will be a big step forward.

    “It’s the perfect game to match them in intensity and rhythm. Against Getafe, we rediscovered our game. Against Athletic, we have to do the same.”

    Barcelona remain without injured quartet Marcos Alonso, Alejandro Balde, Gavi and Ferran Torres for the visit to the Basque country.

    Xavi also hailed his former team-mate Andres Iniesta during his pre-match press conference.

    Iniesta, who scored Spain’s winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final, made the 1,000th senior appearance of his career on Friday, playing for UAE-based side Emirates Club against Ajman.

    “Iniesta is the greatest talent I’ve ever seen in Spanish football,” said Xavi. “A thousand games is many.

    “I admire him and I love him very much, he is a great friend.”

  • Shaw again on target as Manchester City beat Everton to go top of WSL Shaw again on target as Manchester City beat Everton to go top of WSL

    Manchester City defeated Everton 2-1 to climb to the top of the Women’s Super League table.

    City picked up where they left off in their first match since defeating Chelsea last month, with goals from Khadija Shaw (15th) and Lauren Hemp (55th) taking them three points clear of Emma Hayes’ side, who play Leicester on Sunday.

    It is now 12 victories in a row in all competitions for Gareth Taylor’s City, who were pegged back by a fine strike from Hanna Bennison in the 60th minute but deserved the three points.

    City, who have won all 16 of their league games against the Merseyside team, were behind Chelsea only on goals scored at the top of the table heading into the clash at the Joie Stadium. They were well fired up for this game and dominated from beginning to end against Brian Sorensen's team.

    City enjoyed the majority of early possession but had a hard time getting time and space in dangerous areas. After a few tame efforts, Everton made it easy for the home team when Justine Vanhaevermaet crumbled under pressure and played a short pass inside the box that went directly to Shaw, who suddenly had an abundance of time and space to smash in the opener.

    The goal gave the in-form hosts a massive boost as they looked even more dangerous from then on, with Chloe Kelly and Lauren Hemp sending dangerous balls into the box that Shaw was unable to connect with. By half-time, 1-0 seemed a low score considering City had 13 shots throughout the first 45 minutes.

    Everton, meanwhile, were gifted one chance late in the half when goalkeeper Khiara Keating played the ball straight to Rikke Madsen, but her weak shot was straight back at the youngster.

    After Shaw missed a great opportunity by heading over the bar, it was Hemp who doubled City's lead, combining with Coombs in the middle of the pitch before driving forward and sending a long-range effort rolling into the bottom corner.

    Everton were not down and out, though, as City suddenly looked flustered at the back and gave the ball away, resulting in Hanna Bennison smashing in a beauty of a goal from outside the box. Both teams pushed on for another goal, but neither could find a way past their opponents' goalkeeper.

  • Ange Postecoglou warns players of social media risks after Ryan Sessegnon plea Ange Postecoglou warns players of social media risks after Ryan Sessegnon plea

    Ange Postecoglou has advised his Tottenham players to take social media with a pinch of salt after a difficult week for Ryan Sessegnon.

    Full-back Sessegnon had surgery on his right hamstring on Monday, after an operation on his left hamstring last summer, and called for people to “be careful what you say online” in a post on his social media channels.

    Sessegnon, 23, has endured a torrid time with injuries and faced plenty of abuse on Twitter and Instagram over his fitness woes, but boss Postecoglou likened those platforms to a prison yard.

    “I guess the easy thing to say is, ‘look just stay off social media,’ and that’s easy for me to say,” Postecoglou said.

    “I can do that but I guess for younger people it’s a vehicle for them or a platform for them to have a voice, which I kind of understand.

    “They’ve also got to be mature enough to also know that sometimes the audience, I think for want of a better term, social media is like walking into the prison yard and saying you’re innocent.

    “You’re not going to get a hell of a lot of sympathy. Most of it is going to be coming back at you.

    “If you’re kind of prepared for that then (fine), but if you’re jumping into there to try and feel good, my sense of it is, I’m not all over it but you’ll rarely come away from it feeling really good about yourself.

    “Even with the most genuine of reasons for saying what you want to say or putting out what you want to put out. It’s just that kind of platform you’re invariably going to come away from thinking I probably shouldn’t have said anything.”

     

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Tottenham Hotspur (@spursofficial)

     

    Sessegnon is set to spend the rest of the season on the treatment table and is currently joined by Richarlison, who suffered a knee injury during the 2-1 home defeat to Wolves on February 17.

    Richarlison is not expected to return until after the international break and Postecoglou will also be without Pedro Porro (muscle) for Saturday’s visit of Crystal Palace.

    Fifth-placed Tottenham will aim to get their Champions League qualification hopes back on track against Palace and their manager expressed his frustration at the stop-start nature of their campaign.

    Early cup exits mean Spurs will only play 41 matches this season and asked if they can make the most of Aston Villa and Manchester United juggling cup commitments, Postecoglou admitted: “I don’t know.

    “It depends how you use that time. If you ask me would I rather be in Europe? Absolutely, 1000 per cent I’d rather be in Europe at this time playing games.

    “A club like us, who want to compete at the highest level against the best, you need a strong squad and to have a strong squad you need consistent games, consistent game time and opportunities.

    “At the moment, if we get an injury then we’re liable to throw in somebody who hasn’t played for four or five weeks. It’s not easy on that player.

    “Whereas if you’ve got games, there’s a natural rotation that you need to make all the time and also gives you a little bit of rhythm.

    “I had the other extreme last year of 60-plus games at Celtic, but I found that a lot easier to manage than having a disrupted season like we’ve had this year.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.