Barcelona had a very good start to La Liga in 2018 thanks to a comfortable 3-0 win over Levante at Camp Nou. The Blaugrana had a sensational first half and scored enough goals to secure an easy three points, and the Catalan giants continue to look strong in the race for the league title.
The Blaugrana were sensational in the first half. The possession was very well worked, the movement without the ball was fantastic and many scoring chances were created through smart passing and running. Barça only scored two goals, but they were beautiful: Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez each scored a volley after receiving passes from full-backs Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto, and the hosts were in complete control.
The victory looked a certainty at halftime, and it was just about how many goals Barça would score in the second half.
With a busy month of January with a lot of domestic fixtures, it was clear that Barça looked to preserve energy in the second half without losing their intensity and focused on not allowing Levante any opportunities. The visitors did have a couple of chances here and there with shots from outside the box, but nothing to really trouble Ter Stegen.
Barça had most of the possession like they did in the first half but were played it a lot more safe in the second, looking to avoid silly mistakes. That resulted in very few chances for the Blaugrana, but they were comfortably ahead so that wasn’t a problem. They even scored another goal thanks to a lovely run and assist from Messi to Paulinho, who gave Barça another three-goal win.
This was a very good win, especially in the first half. The second would be a concern in normal circumstances, but we’re in January and it’s not a bad idea to save some energy for the rest of the month. We remain nine points ahead of Atlético Madrid with 20 matches left to play, which is great news for the title race. We move on!
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto (Arnáiz), Mascherano, Vermaelen, Alba; Rakitic, Paulinho; Dembélé (Semedo), Messi, Iniesta (Gomes); Suárez
Goals: Messi (12’), Suárez (38’), Paulinho (90’+3)
Levante: Oier; Shaq, Cabaco, Postigo, Luna; Lukic, Lerma (Rober), Doukouré; Ivi, Boateng (Nano), Jason (Samuel)