Barcelona Kisses Goodbye Its “Unbeaten” Record in La Liga
12 June 2018
Barcelona’s dream of going the entire La Liga season unbeaten was cut short in their penultimate game when they were beaten by a very inferior team—both in the table of positions and in skills’ levels like Levante. These arguments are precisely why Levante considered that it was a remarkable match. The hosts actually got ahead to a 5-1 lead, at the beginning of the second half by the hand of Emmanuel Boateng who scored a hat-trick that he will never forget, and Enis Bardhi with a double. On the Barca side, it was the first time that Philippe Coutinho scored a hat-trick of his own after starting at Barcelona, followed by a penalty score by Luis Suarez.
It was just a staggering defeat as the already champions of La Liga could not find an equalizer; thus, getting its first La Liga defeat of the season, after 44 games. It is still a wonderful record. Ernesto Valverde, Barcelona’s team manager, suffered its first defeat in La Liga with Barcelona and its 5th since starting with the club. After this result, he may regret more than ever his decision to rest top scorer Lionel Messi.
After managing to finish El Clasico (Real Madrid vs. Barcelona) with a tie, history seemed to smile at Barcelona. As of now, no teams have gone an entire Spanish La Liga unbeaten since the 1930s, when there were just 18 games in a season. But what defies logic is that Barcelona lost in a match where it was the utmost favorite.
With the league and cup double already in the pocket and their Champions League matches long over, the season for Barcelona is practically over, with just one more game left against Real Sociedad. This match will only be important because it will be the last official game for Andres Iniesta as captain and player for Barcelona.
Timing of the Goals
Boateng- hat trick (‘9, ’30, ’49)
Bardhi- double (’46,’56)
Coutinho- hat trick (’38, ’59, ’64)
Suarez – penalty ’71
Why Was It An Important Win For Levante?
Barcelona should have expected a difficult match with Levante, a team who have had a historic revival with newly elected boss Paco Lopez. After being promoted from his role as the reserve-team boss in March, the club was just one point above the relegation zone.
But, since his appointment, they have won eight of their ten games to add 17 points clear from the bottom three. Lopez said it is historic in their first season back to La Liga to beat Barcelona. After the game, the fans and the team had several minutes of big celebrations. The project for next season should as well be interesting.