BC-SOC-Spanish Roundup, 3rd Ld-Writethru, 615 Levante wins 5-4 to end Barca's bid for unbeaten Liga seasonAP Photo AS114, AS115, AS110, AS111Eds: Adds Barcelona's league record this season.
Emmanuel Boateng and Philippe Coutinho both hit hat-tricks in a insane game that saw Levante go 5-1 up and Barcelona fight their way back. But the hosts did not settle for that lead, pushing forward again and again, scoring three more goals, leading Barça 5-1 with 35 minutes remaining.
Lionel Messi is out of Barcelona's clash with Levante on Sunday evening.
Lionel Messi has been involved in 27 goals in his last 13 league appearances against Levante (16 goals and 11 assists).
Having drawn 2-2 with big rivals Real Madrid last weekend, few would've anticipated Barca having any issues in completing the unbeaten La Liga season.
Barca were awarded a penalty following a foul on Sergio Busquets by Boateng and Luis Suarez easily blasted home straight down the middle with 20 minutes to go.More news: ASU, Arizona Earn National Seeds to NCAA Softball Tourney
Coutinho and Suarez came close to restoring parity for Barcelona but both players missed.
Valverde will be questioned - and not only for leaving Messi off his squad.
Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde chose to experiment at the back by playing the unfamiliar duo of Yerry Mina and Thomas Vermaelen.
Coutinho pulled one back seven minutes before the break with a deflected effort from the edge of the area, but Levante started the second half in style. Jose Luis Morales and Enis Bardhi have combined for 16 goals and will need to score Sunday if they are going to continue their winning streak. The former Liverpool midfielder is beginning to show his true colors, and looks to be ready for his World Cup campaign with Brazil this summer, and he looks to be developing into a star that can more or less replace Barcelona's exiting captain, Andres Iniesta.
"It's not normal for us to concede five goals".
"It's a shame that we've lost".