The weather in the winter period on the Iberian Peninsula allows the teams to enjoy football matches in quite acceptable conditions, so the participants in the European Cup confrontations from Spain do not go on a forced pause, unlike Eastern Europe countries. Even more! Instead of the need to defend the country's honor in the international arena, all the tense subtleties of the game within the framework of national championships fall on the shoulders of the teams, so no one thinks to take a breath.
In the Spanish La Liga, the teams this weekend solemnly opened the thirteenth-round program, in which, in particular, the Catalan Barcelona had to host the Valencian Levante, with which the "blue garnet" in recent seasons turned out to be quite curious full-time duels.
If we take into account the position of both teams in the standings, then we got a fairly open match in the "clear favorite - underdog" format, while the guest team had absolutely no desire to sit deeply in defense and bite into the cherished "0" in the conceded goals column on Camp Nou on a single evening. Levante even tried to aggravate from the start, but Barcelona was lucky that the blow from the center of the penalty area from De Frutos was able to read even before ter Stegen was delivered.
Whether Blaugranes planed it or not, but the game had to be pushed away from their gates urgently, so the Catalans' attacking line began to raise the pace of the ball, and the first dangerous blows fell on the phenomenal goal in the reporting meeting of Aitor.
Brightwaite, Alba, Griezmann, twice Messi - each new shot by these players was not like the previous one, but the Levante goalkeeper on the goal line created mind-blowing rescues. Add insane misses on virtually empty gates from Lengle in the first half and Brightwaite after the break, and we can safely say that the Catalans had a realization crisis.
But still, Leo did not stop in his attempts not to leave the field without a goal scored, and one of the attacks led him to his intended goal. On the 75th minute, with the loss of the ball from others' possession, Messi allowed the opponents to run away in a counterattack to instantly return to the left flank of the penalty area under the transfer from de Jong with the final blow under the far post. The phase of the match in which the goal was scored suggested that this shot was decisive in forming the final result. And in the end, Ter Stegen helped Barcelona avoid problems in defense.
In the middle of next week, some devilry will happen to the calendar in Spanish La Liga, so you shouldn't be surprised that the next match of Catalan Barcelona will be the home game of the nineteenth (!) Round against Real Sociedad, and if this information did not put you into a stupor, we would inform you that Levante will play his next fight at home against ... Real Sociedad! But three days later than the Blaugranas will do it. Thus, the organizers "clean up" the calendar for the Spanish Super Cup in January.
Barcelona - Levante 1: 0
Goal: Messi, 76
Barcelona: ter Stegen - Dest, Araujo, Lengle, Alba - de Jong, Busquets (Pedri, 58) - Messi, Griezmann (Umtiti, 89), Coutinho (Trinkan, 70) - Braithwaite.
Levante: Aitor - Koke (Miramon, 67), Vezu, Postigo, Clerk - De Frutos (Dream, 82), Vukcevic (Radoya, 68), Malsa, Melero (Leon, 82) - Roger (Morales, 68), Gomez.
Warnings: De Jong, Braithwaite - Vukcevic