Emmanuel Boateng assists for Levante in Copa Del Rey victory over Barcelona

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Barcelona suffered a shock 2-1 defeat in the first leg of their Copa del Rey last-16 tie at Levante on Thursday.

Levante stunned the Blaugrana in the 18th minute when on-loan Real Madrid forward Borja Mayoral beautifully tapped in Emmanuel Boateng's cross to make it 2-0.

The home side struck twice within the opening 20 minutes to take control of the contest.

"They dropped their intensity after that, though".

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez already have 28 goals between them this season but both will need to be rested. When you do not play and you are not happy, you have to fight to change the situation.

"When it came to picking the side, I thought that was the best team we could pick for the game", Valverde said in a news conference when asked if he regretted his team selection.

"It served us to evaluate players in some tough moments, like in a LaLiga game. It's a risk, maybe, but these are the risks we take".

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Jeison Murillo, a loan signing from Valencia, is in the group after being an unused substitute in a 2-1 win against Getafe last time out, Messi and Suarez scoring the goals.

The Brazilian star joined the club last January in a deal worth an estimated 160 million euros but the recent form of the former Liverpool man has become noticeable of late.

Barcelona assistant manager Jon Aspiazu spoke of Philippe Coutinho's current form, suggesting that Ousmane Dembele is now outperforming his teammate. Coutinho has to work to turn things around.

"But, come on, one or the other is almost always playing".

But a late penalty from Philippe Coutinho gave Barcelona a foothold in the tie ahead of the second leg at the Nou Camp next week.

"It's hard to come into the side, too, when you've not been playing [regularly] and you have less confidence and rhythm". There are a lot of midfielders and there are only three positions. "But I believe that Philippe is going to help us in what's left of the season".

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