Arsenal target Tello may have persuaded Arsene Wenger to prise open his purse strings as he put on a fine display, ably assisted by Lionel Messi. It sounds strange to say after a team mate scores three, but the mercurial Mess was my man of the match. He tore the home side apart at every opportunity and laid on all three goals for Tello.
It was Levante who took the lead. Nabir El Zhar scored after 31 minutes to have Levante fans dreaming of victory. They had secured a 1-1 draw against Barca in La Liga only three days previously, but Barcelona had revenge on their mind.
It was a much changed Barcelona, Tata Martino making eight changes, but they have strength in depth that no other team in La Liga can match. And, of course, they have Messi. It was his 400th appearance for Barcelona and he celebrated in style. Messi is back to his best, opponents in Brazil 2014 had better watch out.
The equaliser came on 53 minutes, a Juanfran own goal. It was harsh on Juanfran. Vyntra tried to clear the ball but cannoned it off of his team mate into the Levante goal. Guess whose cross caused the panic? Lionel Messi. Tello went on to grab his hat-trick thanks to finishes on 60, 81 and 86 minutes. Next week’s second leg looks a formality, but Martino would have swapped this win for a similar result in La Liga last weekend.