Barcelona Dream of Unbeaten League Season Ended in 37th Match as Levante Cling on to Win 5-4

Barcelona’s hopes of an unbeaten LaLiga campaign were ended in their penultimate game as they lost 5-4 at Levante.

The champions had gone 36 games unbeaten but trailed 5-1 after 56 minutes and their dramatic fightback came up short.

Emmanuel Boateng’s hat-trick and Enis Bardhi’s brace put lowly Levante in charge, and despite Philippe Coutinho completing a treble of his own and Luis Suarez scoring a penalty, Barca’s bid for history came up short.

Fifth-bottom Levante had won their last four matches but were not meant to be a threat as Barca aimed to become the first team to remain unbeaten in a 38-game LaLiga season.

But the hosts took the lead through Boateng after nine minutes and the Ghanaian rounded Marc-Andre ter Stegen to add a second in the 31st minute.

Coutinho pulled one back seven minutes before the break with a deflected effort from the edge of the area, but Levante started the second half in style.

Bardhi found the top corner just 33 seconds after the break and Boateng completed his treble three minutes later after being played in by Antonio Luna.

Bardhi then added his second to make it 5-1, curling into the far-left corner from Roger’s pass.

Coutinho reduced the deficit three minutes later from close range and completed his first Barca treble with 26 minutes left with another deflected effort from range.

Suarez converted from the spot in the 71st minute after Sergio Busquets was fouled from a corner to make it 5-4, but Ernesto Valverde’s side could not find a late leveller and keep their run going.

The other team from Barcelona also scored four goals on Sunday, but Espanyol were celebrating a 4-1 victory over relegated Malaga.

The home side took the lead after just eight minutes when Gerard Moreno slotted in from close range and Sergio Garcia doubled the lead from a similar distance on 27 minutes.

Leo Baptistao then swept home on the half-hour mark to finish off an excellent team goal, before Malaga pulled one back from the penalty spot through Adrian Gonzalez after Naldo had been harshly punished for handball.

Espanyol were also awarded a dubious penalty after 79 minutes when Pablo Piatti went down under a challenge from Roberto Rosales, Piatti converting the spot-kick himself.

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