3 Things that went wrong for Barcelona against Levante
It took 37 games but Barcelona's first loss in La Liga this campaign has arrived, courtesy of a narrow away defeat to Levante that ended their 36 game unbeaten run in the league.
Things started off poorly for Ernesto Valverde's side as they fell behind to a first-half brace from Emmanuel Boateng until Phillipe Coutinho brought one back before the halftime break. The goals kept on coming, as Boateng completed his hattrick with Enis Bardhi and Roger Marti grabbing a goal each as Barca were down 5-1 early in the second half.
Two more goals from Coutinho saw the Brazilian claim his first hattrick in a Barca shirt and a Luis Suarez penalty cut the home team's lead to one. But the resurgence wasn't enough as Paco Lopez and Levante became the first team in La Liga this season to stop Barcelona from claiming any points to claim an unprecedented 5-4 victory on the night.
On that note, here is a look at the things that went wrong for Barcelona:
#3 Yerry Mina had a disastrous game
Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde decided to experiment at the back by playing the unfamiliar duo of Yerry Mina and Thomas Vermaelen.
Not only did they get off to a poor start, falling behind 2-0 after 30 minutes, but also Vermaelen had to be taken in the first half due to injury and was replaced by Gerard Pique. However, centre back Mina looked shaky at the back and looked prone to committing errors.
The Colombian can be blamed for a major portion of the goals, firstly for not closing down Jose Luis Morales in the box that allowed him the space to run towards the goal and then square it up for the opener.
Secondly, the poor marking of Emmanuel Boateng on the edge of the box let the Ghanian free, allowing him to go past the goalkeeper and then Nelson Semedo fell down too easily in the hopes of Boateng's challenge being called for a foul. The goals coming after the start of the second half as poor man marking allowed Levante to grab two quickfire goals.
Lastly, the 23-year-old was at fault once again for the fifth goal as his decision to not apply any pressure or lunge into a challenge let Enis Bardhi to put the ball through his legs which was converted by Roger Marti to pile on the misery for the Barcelona defense.