Jose Luis Mendilibar pointed to Barcelona’s second goal as the crucial one as his Levante side fell to a 5-0 home defeat.
Neymar opened the scoring before Rakitic added the second, with later goals from Sandro Ramirez, Pedro Rodriguez and Lionel Messi, who also missed a first half penalty.
Levante though came close to opening the scoring but Lukas Vyntra was dismissed for a foul on Messi to give away the spot kick, Mendilibar also left to rue the red card.
“It’s very difficult to play against Barca, no matter how you play because they always have the capacity and the resources,” the Coach argued, according to AS.
“You can sit back and wait to counter-attack but it’s complicated. At 0-0 we could have done with the lead but it didn’t come and very quickly it was 1-0.
“The red card is a decision that hurts us, leaving us with one player fewer and that’s really hard against Barca. Rakitic’s goal broke us entirely.”
Levante remain bottom of the table with one point and no goals, with Mendilibar looking forward to the midweek game against Granada.
“Now comes an important week with a lot of games but to say it’s a key week is saying a lot,” he added.
“We’re on the fourth round and it’s true we only have one point from 12 and we haven’t had good performances, but we will see on Wednesday against Granada.
“We’ll see if we can get some players back to compete as we know we can.”