Messi strikes twice, Levante swept aside

2015-09-21 10:25
Lionel Messi (Supplied)
Lionel Messi (Supplied)

Barcelona - Lionel Messi scored one penalty and missed another as his double helped Barcelona sweep Levante aside in the second half in a 4-1 victory on Sunday to maintain their perfect La Liga start.

Last season's treble winners lead the standings with 12 points ahead of three teams, including arch rivals Real Madrid, on 10, having won all of their four games so far.

Defender Marc Bartra showed composure to open the scoring by converting a Messi cross after 50 minutes with Barca having been frustrated in the first half by a well organised Levante side.

With the game having opened up, Neymar finished clinically after 55 minutes and won a penalty on the hour which was converted by Messi.

At the other end, Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen flapped at a cross that allowed Victor to slot the ball home after 65 minutes.

Messi blazed a second penalty over the bar after he himself was fouled but the Argentine did score again with a drive from the edge of the area a minute from time.

"I love to defend, it is what I like best and work for the team by winning back possession," Bartra told reporters.

"If I can also get forward and score goals then so much the better.

"When teams are so defensive it is difficult but then when you get the goal it is all a lot easier. I was lucky to get the opener but it is most important to win and be leaders."

Youth players Sandro Ramirez and Munir El Haddadi were both given their chance in the Barca attack with coach Luis Enrique resting Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta, while in a tactical change Messi began in a deeper role behind the front three.

Read more on:    barcelona  |  la liga  |  lionel messi  |  soccer

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