Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi impressed by Sergi Roberto had a shocker as Barcelona were held to a 3-3 draw by Levante UD on Tuesday night.

Barcelona’s hopes of winning the La Liga title were dealt a blow on Tuesday night as they were held to a thrilling 3-3 draw by Levante at Estadi Ciutat de Valencia.

The Catalans took some time to get going against the Granotas but were able to take the lead in the 25th minute when captain and talisman Lionel Messi volleyed home a cross from Jordi Alba. Barcelona were two goals to the good nine minutes later when Pedri fired the ball into the back of the net after getting on the end of an Ousmane Dembele cutback.

After the break through, Levante came back strongly and posed a threat on the counter. Eventually, the home team were able to breach the Blaugrana goal through Gonzalo Melero’s headed effort in the 57th minute before Jose Luis Morales levelled thing up on the night three minutes later, with a fine finish after a neat exchange with fellow striker Roger Marti.

Barcelona, though, struck back through Dembele in the 64th minute but Levante kept pushing for another goal, which finally came in the 83rd minute through a clever finish from Sergio Leon, as the two teams ended up sharing the spoils. The result means Barcelona did move to second place but remain a point shy of leaders Atletico Madrid who take on Real Sociedad on Wednesday.

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Here are our player ratings for the Barcelona stars following what was a thrilling encounter that ended in disappointment for Ronald Koeman & co.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 5/10

Did not have a lot to do in the first period but was left exposed by his defence after the break as Levante scored two in quick succession. Will be disappointed to have got caught out at his near post for the third goal.

Ronald Araujo: 6/10

Back into the starting XI at the expense of Oscar Mingueza, the Uruguayan was a solid presence in defence. Covered well on the right side, allowing Dembele more attacking freedom. However, having sustained a knock on his ankle early in the first period he was taken off at half-time.

Gerard Pique: 5/10

Fairly solid first period but the veteran defender had problems after the break with Jose Luis Morales giving a hard time. Was caught out for the third goal as Leon got across him before finding the back of the net.

Clement Lenglet: 6/10

No glaring errors on the night but that does not mean that the Frenchman was all too secure on his side and had to be saved by his defensive partners at times. Part of the Barcelona backline that crumbled after the break, even though he did make a couple of interceptions and three clearances. Pretty solid on the ball as well.

Ousmane Dembele: 8/10

The Player to watch in our match preview, Dembele was handed a start in a makeshift right wing-back role and he produced a strong performance against Levante. Largely took up positions high up the pitch but wasn’t shy of putting in the hard yards defensively. Set Pedri up for the second goal with a fine pass before a thumping effort in the second half made it 3-2. Finished with three tackles and three key passes.

Frenkie de Jong: 7/10

Was a livewire, especially in the first half, as he constantly broke forward and tried to create chances for his teammates, who ought to have done better with their finishing. Managed a game-high four key passes but influence somewhat waned after the break though and was booked as well, meaning he is now suspended for the next game against Celta Vigo.

Sergio Busquets: 6/10

A bit of a hit and miss for the veteran midfielder who was playing with a face mask on after having injured his cheekbone against Atletico Madrid last time out. Did well to keep his team on the front foot in the early exchanges and covered the backline well. However, wasn’t able to cope with some of Levante’s counter-attacks after the break.

Pedri: 6.5/10

Was guilty of missing two gilt-edged chances within the first ten minutes of the game. But made amends not long after, scoring Barcelona’s second goal of the night. Moved well and worked hard off the ball but grew tired as the match wore on and had to be replaced eventually.

Jordi Alba: 6/10

Not as adventurous as he usually is going forward but was always on the lookout to find Messi each time he got on the ball. It was his deflected cross that fell for the Argentine to open the scoring. No key passes on the night but did his job defensively, managing to contain Levante’s threat on his side.

Lionel Messi: 7/10

As usual, made Barcelona tick in the final third, registering three key passes in the game, while also completing a joint game-high three dribbles. Got the Catalans up and running with a fine finish and then played a hand in the second goal, sending Dembele through who in turn found Pedri. Poor backpass played a hand in Levante’s second. However, wasn’t able to drag Barcelona over the line for a victory.

Antoine Griezmann: 6/10

Another quiet outing for the Frenchman who was never really able to provide much of a goal threat on the night. Did have some nice moments of neat interplay with those around him though while he rarely misplaced a pass either.

SUBSTITUTES

Sergi Roberto: 4/10

Replaced the injured Araujo at half-time and slotted in as the right-sided centre-back which did not end well for him. Beaten in the air for the first, then caught out for the second. Moved to central midfield for a brief time before he was whisked off before full-time.

Oscar Mingueza: 5/10

On for Pedri in the 74th minute and took his place in the backline with Roberto moving to midfield. Not able to do much of note in the short time he was on the pitch.

Martin Braithwaite: N/A

Sent on for Griezmann in the 81st minute.

Sergino Dest: N/A

Came on in place of Dembele in the 82nd minute. Beaten by Tono who set up Levante’s third goal.

Riqui Puig: N/A

Replaced Roberto for the final five minutes of normal time. Good energy but too little time to make an impact.

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