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De Jong stoppage time winner gives Barca victory over Levante


Madrid (AFP) – Luuk de Jong headed in a 92nd-minute winner on Sunday as Barcelona prevailed in a five-goal thriller against Levante to return to second in La Liga.

De Jong’s late goal, his sixth in the league for Barca, proved the decisive moment in a 3-2 victory in Valencia but it was the introduction of the 19-year-old Pedri off the bench that turned the momentum of the contest.

A frantic 11 minutes early in the second half saw Levante score one penalty in the 52nd minute through Jose Luis Morales before missing a second in the 55th, this time Roger Marti stepping up, only to be denied by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Pedri came off the bench in the 56th minute and three minutes later Barcelona equalised, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang heading in Ousmane Dembele’s cross to score his 10th goal for his new club.

Then in the 63rd minute, Pedri fired Barca in front with a first-time finish into the corner, only for Levante to level again after being awarded a third penalty, Gonzalo Melero this time making no mistake.

Levante looked set to claim a point but De Jong snatched the win, meeting Jordi Alba’s cross and heading in at the near post.

Barca climb back above Sevilla into second, still 12 points behind Real Madrid, who eased to a 2-0 victory over Getafe on Saturday. 

Xavi Hernandez’s side have a game in hand over Real Madrid, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid, with Atletico three points behind in fourth after losing on Saturday away at Mallorca.

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