Until the second half, the hosts had to open the scoring at the Camp Nou, and Lionel Messi finally found his way past Aitor Fernandez in goal.

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Barcelona have a chance to win the title

Ronald Koeman is not yet giving up the LaLiga title. His Barcelona side didn’t convince, but they picked up a crucial three points against Levante on Sunday. Until the second half, the hosts had to open the scoring at the Camp Nou, and Lionel Messi finally found his way past Aitor Fernandez in goal. The win moves Barcelona within nine points of current LaLiga leaders Real Sociedad. “Of course we can win the title,” the Dutchman said after the win. “If we improve and we have more confidence, and we improve our performance towards the goal, there is a chance! There are still many games left.” Messi’s goal was only a fifth of the campaign in LaLiga, with his performances lagging behind previous years.

“You have to understand that it is not easy for him,” Koeman said to his captain. “He is marked by a lot of players. But he showed that he is decisive. Samuel Umtiti came in the last few minutes as Koeman preferred to defend his lead with three centre backs. “If you need something to end the game and your opponents are pushing more people forward, and they are dangerous, you have to defend the result,” explained Koeman. “It was important to win this game. That gives us confidence on Wednesday. Somewhat curiously, Riqui Puig came out to warm up during the second half before sitting back on the Barcelona bench. The youngster, who hasn’t played regularly under Koeman this season, didn’t get on. “He was warming up to come into the game at 0-0, but then when we scored, the plan has changed,” explained Koeman.

On Wednesday, Barcelona host LaLiga leaders Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou in LaLiga.