Not even close to a trademark Fc Barcelona performance, but honestly, psychologically affirming, perhaps the most important.
Gavi created and Pedri scored. Xavi’s substitutions turned Barca’s ailing fortunes around after sixty miserable minutes of football with no ounce of control in the midfield. Luuk de Jong came to rescue Barcelona and scored a stoppage-time winner to bag all three important points.
Barca struggled to maintain possession and dictate the tempo of the game for the first sixty minutes and it looked like a repetition of the first half against Frankfurt. Levante pushed Barca to their limits and managed to squeeze every last drop of their strength. Levante took the lead from the spot as Barca conceded the penalty in the 52nd minute when captain Jose Luis Morales scored from the spot after a foul by Dani Alves.
Moments later referee awarded Levante a second penalty, for a handball by Eric Garcia, but this time Ter Stagen managed to keep Barca alive in this match and saved the penalty.
Soon after this Barca made the hosts pay, Aubameyang headed home a cross from Dembele in the 59th minute.
Xavi subbed in Pedri and Gavi and it changed the dynamics of the game. Pedri teed up with Gavi and gave Barca the lead in the 63rd minute.
Lenglet gave away a silly penalty just after being subbed on and Levante scored from the spot once again.
In the dying moments of the game, Luuk de Jong scored the winning goal of the game from an inch-perfect cross from Jordi Alba. One could not write a better script for the Dutchman, who helped Barcelona embrace victory at the finish line.
Fc Barcelona conceded three penalties, yet somehow managed to emerge victorious speaks volumes about the mental toughness Xavi has instilled in his squad.