Barça visits Levante with unbeaten season on the line
MADRID – Agence France-Presse
Barcelona may have navigated its way past Real Madrid and Villarreal this week but its first ever unbeaten La Liga season is not quite over the line yet.
Ernesto Valverde’s side visits Levante on May 13, whose lowly position of 16th betrays a late surge in form, which has included four consecutive victories and only one defeat in its last 10 games.
Barça is the clear favorite. It held on for a 2-2 draw at home to Real on May 6, even after Sergi Roberto was sent off at the end of the first half, before thrashing sixth-placed Villarreal 5-1 on May 9.
But if those two games have caused any fatigue, or even complacency, among Spain’s league and cup winners, Levante could be primed to take advantage.
When Paco Lopez replaced Juan Ramon Lopez Muniz as coach at the start of March, Levante had won only one of its last 22 games. Since he took charge, only Atletico Madrid has played it and tasted victory.
“It was important to change the dynamics but I don’t know what changed so much,” Lopez said. “What we have is attitude and commitment and that has been the key.”
Valverde has downplayed the importance of his team finishing the campaign as invincibles but after already winning a domestic double, it would represent something of a cherry on top. No team has ever finished a 38-game La Liga season without losing and Barça would be the first in any format since Real Madrid managed it across an 18-match schedule in 1932.