Barcelona vs. Levante - Football Match Report

Valverde responde a las palabras de Bartomeu para SPORT

Valverde responde a las palabras de Bartomeu para SPORT

Barcelona have been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Spanish Football Federation after El Mundo suggested the Catalan club played an ineligible player against Levante in the Copa del Rey last week.

After suffering a 2-1 defeat in the first leg last week, Ernesto Valverde went for a stronger line up as Lionel Messi, Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal were included.

However, Barca could be thrown out of the competition amid claims that they fielded an ineligible player in the first leg.

Barca bagged a third goal ten minutes into the second half as Messi collected a pass from Nelson Semedo before slotting into the bottom corner to make 4-2 on aggregate.

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Barcelona say a change in the rules, made in November, meant the suspension does not apply to the Copa del Rey.

Levante have said they will lodge a complaint to the Spanish federation because Barca defender Juan Brandariz should have been serving a suspension after receiving a yellow card while playing for Barcelona's B team in the Segunda B division.

It's not the first time this has happened in the Copa del Rey; during Rafa Benitez's time as Real Madrid manager, Denis Cheryshev played against Cádiz despite not being eligible for selection, resulting in Madrid being chucked out of the tournament.

The lead was doubled a minute later as Messi turned provider once again to pick out Dembele, who rounded goalkeeper Aitor Fernández before slotting into the empty net.

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