Barcelona remain unbeaten in 15 games; win second-half La Liga thriller against Levante

Aubameyang scored the first goal for Barcelona (Twitter/LaLigaEN)

Photo: Twitter

Luuk by Jong headed a 92nd-minute winner on Sunday as Barcelona prevailed in a five-goal thriller against Levante to climb back to second place in La Liga.

De Jong’s late goal, his sixth in the league for Barca, was the defining moment of a 3-2 win at Valencia, but it was the 19-year-old’s introduction. Pedri off the bench which turned the momentum of the contest.

A frantic 11 minutes early in the second half saw Levante score a 52nd-minute penalty through Jose Luis Morales before missing a second in the 55th, this time Roger Marti stepping up, only to be denied by Marc-André ter Stegen.

Pedri came off the bench in the 56th minute and three minutes later Barcelona equalized Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Cape to Ousmane Dembelecross to score his 10th goal for his new club.

Then in the 63rd minute, Pedri sent Barca ahead with an early finish in the corner, only for Levante to equalize again after being awarded a third penalty, Gonzalo Melero this time making no mistakes.

Levante looked set to score a point but De Jong snatched victory, encountering Jordi Albais crossed and goes towards the near post.

Barca climb over second-placed Sevilla, still 12 points behind Real Madrid, who claimed a 2-0 victory over Getafe on Saturday.

Xavi HernandezThe team are one game short of Real Madrid, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid, three points behind fourth-placed Atletico after losing to Mallorca on Saturday.

Pedri scored a brilliant winner against Sevilla last weekend and while the midfielder was initially rested against Levante, Barcelona were transformed after his arrival.

Aubameyang, meanwhile, has continued his rich vein of form since leaving Arsenal in January. The Gabonese striker now has 10 goals in 14 games for his new club.

Levante were all over Barcelona early on and Morales was thwarted by an excellent goal-line clearance from Eric Garcia after his arrival at the end of a weaving run appeared to spin. Garcia rushed to hang on.

Ferran Torres twice went close but chaos began shortly after half-time when Dani Alves leaned over Son to keep him from recovering a one-two and Morales scored from the spot.

Three minutes later, Levante were awarded another penalty after the ball fell cruelly on Garcia’s arm. Morales left that kick for Roger but his low shot to the left was cleared away by Ter Stegen.

Levante knew an opportunity had been squandered and Barca played faster with Pedri on the pitch, with the teenager playing the key pass to Dembele, who crossed for Aubameyang to acquiesce.

Five minutes later, Barcelona were in front as Gavi squeezed between two Levante defenders and placed Pedri, who bent the ball for the first time in the far corner.

Levante, however, came back and when Melero fired their third penalty of the night after Dani Gomez was clipped by Clement Lenglet, they looked like they had gotten a point.

De Jong, in place of Aubameyang, had other ideas, rushing into the box in the 92nd minute and Alba’s curved cross finding him. De Jong headed the ball inside the post.

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