Ansu Fati inspires Barcelona to vital Levante win

Barcelona responded to the La Liga title challenge of Real Madrid, with a crucial 2-1 win at home to Levante, thanks to a brace from Ansu Fati.

Quique Setien's side lost 2-0 at Valencia last weekend, and with Zinedine Zidane's side opening up a six point lead with a narrow 1-0 victory over Atletico Madrid yesterday, the Catalan giants had to react.

La Blaugrana have now closed the gap back to three points, with teenage star Fati the key difference between the two sides at the Camp Nou.

The visitors worked hard to frustrate Barcelona in the opening stages, with keeper Aitor Fernandez producing two smart saves to deny Lionel Messi.

However a quick fire double from the Spanish U21 star settled the tie on the half hour mark, as Messi turned provider for both goals.

The Barcelona skipper slipped Fati through the high Levante defensive line on 29 minutes, to slot past Fernandez, before repeating the trick two minutes, from just inside the box.

Setien's side should have increased their advantage before the break, as full back Nelson Semedo hit the bar, and Antoine Griezmann headed a great chance wide of the post.

But Paco Lopez's side did look to make a game of it after the break, as Ruben Rochina was denied from close range by Marc Ter Stegen, before the German international produced a sprawling save from Hernani on 68 minutes.

Former Blackburn Rovers defender Rochina did pull a goal back on 92 minutes, as his deflected long range striker flew past Ter Stegen, but they ran out of time for a late equaliser.

Tags Ansu Fati Lionel Messi