Iniesta inspires Barca romp

Andres Iniesta took centre stage with a virtuoso display as Barcelona cruised to a 4-0 victory at Levante.

Last Updated: 25/11/12 at 22:02

Lionel Messi: Two more goals for Barca

Lionel Messi: Two more goals for Barca

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Andres Iniesta took centre stage with a virtuoso display as Barcelona continued their unbeaten start to the Primera Division season with a classy 4-0 victory at Levante.

Iniesta provided assists for Lionel Messi's quickfire double - his 81st and 82nd goals this calendar year - before lashing home a goal of his own and playing in Cesc Fabregas for a fourth as Barcelona ran riot in a devastating 18-minute spell at the start of the second half.

Jose Barkero had the chance to pull a goal back for the hosts late on but saw his tame penalty saved by Victor Valdes as Barca comfortably maintained their three-point lead at the top of La Liga with their 11th win in 12 matches.

Tito Vilanova's visitors had most of the possession in a cagey first period but surprisingly lacked a cutting edge in the final third.

Indeed it was the hosts who were the first to threaten, Barkero cutting in from the right and sending in a swerving effort that Valdes had to guide over the bar.

A minute later Barcelona suffered a setback as

Dani Alves was forced off with an injury, with Martin Montoya coming on as his replacement.

Barca remained the dominant force in possession and Messi threatened for the first time on 22 minutes, beating his man 25 yards from goal before firing in a low shot just wide of the right-hand post.

Xavi flashed an effort wide a minute later as Barca began to build the pressure, but the best chance before the interval went the way of Levante in the 31st minute when Juanlu crossed but Barkero could not direct his volley on target.

If Levante thought they were a match for Barca in the opening period, they were simply blown away at the start of the second as the majestic Iniesta took centre stage.

First the World Cup winner teed up Messi for his first of the night on 47 minutes, the Argentina international latching onto his team-mate's defence-splitting pass and lobbing home a smart finish.

Bakero connected with a superb volley that flashed just wide as Levante threatened a response, but with 51 minutes gone Barcelona were celebrating their second as Iniesta made his way to the byline before pulling back for Messi to tuck in goal number 82 of the year - the diminutive forward now just four goals shy of beating Gerd Muller's all-time record.

With 57 minutes on the clock Iniesta's devastating spell continued as he ran at the Levante defence and lashed home a fearsome shot off the underside of the crossbar.

And six minutes later it was four, Iniesta again involved with a cute ball around Levante's last man for Fabregas to apply the finish.

Vilanova's men were happy to sit back in what time remained, although it took late heroics by Valdes to preserve their clean sheet as the Barcelona number one saved Barkero's poor penalty - awarded for handball against Carles Puyol - before making another stop from Angel's rebound.

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

hould have stayed because we carried him for 6.5 years. And then he has a breakthrough season, and was gone soon after. MU fans, you would be as disgusted had C Ronaldo left in 2007 and not 2009.

godof86
Is Van Persie Slipping Sadly Into The Night?

G

ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

RogerRedHat
Hodgson hits out at Kane leak

H

e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

hump3.
Skrtel denies violent conduct

Footer 365

Tottenham striker Harry Kane to make first England start in Italy

Harry Kane will make his first start for England in Tuesday night's friendly in Italy, Roy Hodgson has confirmed.

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle starts for Italy against England in Turin

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle has been handed a start for Italy in their friendly against England in Turin.

No Team GB football teams for 2016 Brazil Olympics

The FA has formally withdrawn its proposal to enter a Team GB Men’s and Women’s side at the 2016 Olympics.

Mail Box

Can Wenger Coach Young Players Anymore?

One Mailboxer wonders whether Wenger has still got ability to bring through young talent. Plus £50m for Sterling, stop being matey with footballers and Blackpool...

Forget About Flair And Play Like Greece

'Forget about flair and play like Greece' is one outsider's advice to the England national side, while an Arsenal fan wants to sell Theo Walcott to get Marco Reus.

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company