Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas was less than happy at being taken off in the draw with Levante, but later moved to downplay his reaction.
The home side took an early lead in the 10th minute through Loukas Vyntra’s header following a corner before Barcelona defender Gerard Pique levelled up the scores ten minutes later.
It was then thought that Barcelona would go on to comfortably beat the side they crushed 7-0 at the Nou Camp, however Levante were stubborn and restricted the La Liga title holders to half chances.
Cesc Fabregas endured a frustrating afternoon throughout. The opening goal came after Greek international Vyntra lost the intentions of Fabregas who was supposed to be marking the defender before angling in a header past the hapless Victor Valdes.
More alarmingly for the visitors was Fabregas’s lack of cohesion and creativity on the ball. The former Arsenal player had just two shots on goal, making just 68 passes with success rate of 84% - Barcelona’s second lowest on the day.
Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino had seen enough, replacing the ineffective Fabregas with the more defensive-minded Sergi Roberto – a decision which evidently highlighted the 26-year-old’s lack of influence on the game.
The reaction to the substitution showed incompetence and petulance, as Fabregas slapped the bench aggressively before slouching into his chair, seemingly ignoring his team-mates.
Post-match, Fabregas tried to diffuse the situation, citing frustration and not being able to finish Levante off and claiming a much-needed three points to cement their place at the top following Real Madrid’s crushing 5-0 win at Real Betis on Saturday. Spanish press quoting the midfielder:
"We're not all unhappy, only with the result. We wish we could win every game so that we would know we would win the league, but that is not so"
"We've had chances to win and I was good. I believe that we were creating chances and I had the frustration of seeing that we were close but for the little things we didn’t score another goal."
"Deep down we know we could and should have won"
image: © Ines11thiago