Barcelona's fight for the La Liga crown took a huge blow as they dropped two points to draw against Levante at the Estadio Ciudad de Valencia.
Goals from Lionel Messi, Pedri and Ousmane Dembele saw the Catalunya side lead multiple times in the game but Paco Lopez's resilient Levante fought back to collect crash Barcelona's title ambitions.
Barcelona's draw hands Diego Someone’s Atletico Madrid and Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid the advantage in the close title race.
Ronald Koeman’s side now see themselves a point ahead of Real Madrid, and a point behind Atletico Madrid - both yet to play their 36th matchday.
Messi was once again on Barcelona’s goal sheet tonight, bagging his 29th La Liga goal of the season but the likes of Jose Luis Morales, Sergio Leon and Gonzalo Melero ruined the Argentine's and Barcelona's night.
Story of the game
An enthralling night of La Liga action saw Barcelona dominate the first half start to test Paco Lopez’s Levante very earlier on.
Pedri could have opened the scoring inside five minutes with the first chance of the game. Frenkie De Jong cut back pass saw the 18-year-old fail to test Aitor Fernandez from five yards out.
Levante’s talisman Jose Luis Morales caused Barcelona a few problems with his blistering speed. But unfortunately for his side, they failed to administer any meaningful attacking opportunities in the first interval.
The Granotes' attacking problems saw them weather a Barcelona storm with the likes of Messi, Dembele and Pedri providing the pressure.
Barcelona took the lead on the 25th minute however after Jordi Alba’s deflected cross found Messi unmarked and the Argentine volleyed home to break the deadlock.
Pedri redeemed himself to double the Catalunya’s side lead on the 34th minute. Dembele’s neat pass found Pedri in the six-yard box and the youngster tapped home.
Barcelona could have all but sealed the game on the cusp of half time. Messi’s cross into Sergio Busquets saw him fail to guide his header past Fernandez.
The second half began much more brightly than the first. Alba’s cross into the six-yard box was cleared by the hosts but found De Jong on the edge of the area. The Dutchman's chip to lob Fernandez narrowly went over.
Quick thinking from Levante saw them counter De Jong’s opportunity. Jorge Miramon’s cross found Gonzalo Melero and the number 22 headed home to make it 2-1 and bring one back for the hosts.
Levante found the net again just five minutes after scoring their first. Barcelona’s poor passing display at the back saw Messi dispossessed and marksman Morales smash home past Marc Ter Stegen to equalise.
Barcelona’s quality in their front three allowed them to regain their lead on the 65th minute. Levante's muddled clearance in the six-yard box found Dembele, who struck a fearsome strike to find the top corner.
Koeman’s poor substitution in bringing on Sergino Dest and taking off Dembele proved costly as the Dutchman's poor marking saw Tono run in behind and cross into Sergio Leon, who flicked home to equalise on the 83rd-minute mark.
Takeaways from the match
The Blaugrana fall apart yet again
Barcelona decided their ill fate after ball-playing errors and failing to keep hold of their two-goal lead.
The Blaugrana once again failed to pick up points in the penultimate period of the season. Five points dropped in their last two games now hands their Madrid rivals a huge advantage in the upcoming table standings.
Barcelona fail to make Levante pay again at the Estadio Ciudad de Valencia
It's now three successive meetings at Levante Barcelona have failed to collect three points in.
Tuesday's game handed the visitors an opportunity to glide into the summit of La Liga. But the resilience of Morales and his teammates brilliantly helped Levante fight back and punish Koeman's men.