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Barcelona 1-0 Levante: 5 Hits and Flops

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
28 Apr 2019, 08:50 IST

Messi's second-half strike saw Barcelona lift their second successive La Liga title on Saturday
Messi's second-half strike saw Barcelona lift their second successive La Liga title on Saturday

Barcelona lifted the La Liga title aloft after a hard-fought 1-0 home win over Levante on Saturday evening, courtesy of none other than Lionel Messi's 34th league strike of the season to break the deadlock after 62 minutes. 

Messi, who had come off the substitutes' bench after half-time, had proven pivotal once more en route to Barca clinching their second successive domestic triumph and eighth in the past 11 seasons, which are truly extraordinary stats in a competition packed with their Madrid rivals.  

It was far from an easy win for the hosts, as Levante - who themselves are threatened by the prospect of relegation - defended well for sustained periods while their goalkeeper made a string of fine saves. They could have snatched a point or even three during an action-packed second-half, which would have delayed title celebrations after Atletico Madrid's 1-0 win over Valladolid earlier in the day. 

Coke squandered a promising chance from close-range, while substitute midfielder Enis Bardhi saw an effort crash off Marc-Andre ter Stegen's far post as the German gratefully clutched the ball in his hands near stoppage-time. Without further ado, here's a look at five hits and flops as Barcelona secured the title with another win:


#5 Flop: Ousmane Dembele

Dembele often flattered to deceive against Levante and his decision-making was largely disappointing
Dembele often flattered to deceive against Levante and his decision-making was largely disappointing

With two key passes, four dribbles completed and an all-round okay display, why does Dembele feature on the flop section here? 

Simply put, because he was just okay. For a player of his ability and creative capabilities, he should be doing more - not least when linking up with Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez in a three-pronged attack without talisman Messi to combine alongside.

Rather than taking charge though, he was often pedestrian and his other match statistics back that up: only the aforementioned Suarez recorded worse than his 74.3% passing accuracy for Barcelona.

His decision-making was, as it has been, erratic and frustrating to watch at times. Dispossessed four times and with only 57 touches of the ball, didn't get involved as much as he should have - mirroring Coutinho's influence on a game where they were relying on his impact in the final third.

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