Emmanuel Boateng Bags a Hat-trick as Levante End Barcelona’s Unbeaten Run
Ghanaian International Emmanuel Boateng bagged a hat-trick to help Levante beat Barcelona 5-4 ending their hopes of becoming the invincibles generation in Spain.
Going into the game, Barcelona who hadn’t lost a game since April 2017 needed to at least draw the remaining two games to become the first side to finish the entire season unbeaten.
They however suffered an early blow as Boateng found space in the 9th minute to guide a neat Luis Morales pass a past Barcelona’s goalkeeper Ter Stegen.
An injury to Thomas Vermaelen disrupted Barcelona’s defence further, only for Boateng to take advantage of the confusion. The 21-year-old broke into the box and rounded off Ter Stegen once again scoring Levante’s second.
Barcelona managed to reduce the deficit eight minutes later through Philipe Coutinho which should have turned the game around for the champions but instead, things quickly took a sour turn.
Levante instead started the second half in fashion, scoring three goals in ten minutes. They regained their two goal margin after the break courtesy of Enis Bardhi’s beautifully curled shot before Boateng sealed his hat-trick in the 49th minute.
It became a goal galore as Enis Bardhi made it 5-1 in the 56th minute before Coutinho’s two quick fire goals in the 59th and 64rd minutes brought the Blaugranas back into the game.
Louis Suarez tucked away a penalty in the 71st minute to make it four after Boateng was penalised for tripping Sergio Busquets in the box. The visitors continued to pile pressure on the hosts trying to restore parity but couldn’t find the crucial equalizer.
The former Liverpool man scored a hat-trick of his own but it wasn’t enough to inspire a much needed come back.
The Levante youngster who will be playing his first international games in Ghana’s friendlies with Japan and Iceland next month became the first player to score a hat-trick against since Diego Forlan in May 2005.
Ernesto Valverde’s men had gone 36 games without losing a La Liga game and couldn’t believe the surprise when they were 5-1 down against the Frogs at the Estadio Ciudad de Valencia.