Denis De Jong, Barcelona win epic despite Levante’s three penalties


After a thrilling, end-to-end encounter in which Barcelona conceded three penalties, Luuk de Jong scored a header in injury time to give his team a 3-2 victory over struggling Levante.

image credits: getty

At the end of the match, De Jong’s last-gasp goal gave Barcelona their seventh straight league victory and put them second in the La Liga table with 60 points after 30 games.

However, they remain well behind league leaders Real Madrid, who have 72 points from 31 games following a 2-0 home win over Getafe on Saturday. With 22 points, Levante is ranked 19th.


Jose Luis Morales scored from the penalty spot in the 52nd minute to give Levante the lead against a lacklustre Barcelona side.

After Levante’s fumbled attempt from Morales was cleared off the line, the hosts were awarded a second penalty for a handball by Eric Garcia.

Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen stopped attacker Roger Marti’s attempt this time. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang headed home a cross from Ousmane Dembele in the 59th minute as the visitors punished Levante.


Barca took the lead in the 63rd minute thanks to a goal from 17-year-old midfielder Pedri, who was set up by Gavi, another substitute who had come in late in the second half.

Clement Lenglet fouled Dani Gomez on a through pass as Levante secured a penalty for the third time in the second half. Gonzalo Melero stepped in and levelled the score in the 83rd minute against Ter Stegen.

Home the second minute of extra time, replacement De Jong headed in a Jordi Alba cross to give the game a thrilling conclusion with a goal into the bottom corner.


“The fact that we won despite conceding three penalties shows we are highly competitive and have a winning mindset,” remarked Barca coach Xavi.

“This matchup worried me since Levante has defeated Villarreal and Atletico Madrid in the past, and they have a tough squad full of talented players. In the face of adversity, we’ve gained three golden points.”

However, when asked whether Barca had a chance of overtaking Real Madrid, coach Luis Enrique replied: “It’s really tough, given how seldom Real Madrid falters. Nevertheless, if they fall by a few points during the following two weeks, we’ll be able to trust more confidently.”


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