Paco Lopez: Levante proud to beat Barcelona with or without Messi

Paco Lopez
VALENCIA, SPAIN - MAY 13: Head Coach Paco Lopez of Levante UD gives instructions during the La Liga match between Levante UD and FC Barcelona at Estadi Ciutat de Valencia on May 13, 2018 in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Levante manager Paco Lopez says he is proud of his team’s performance as they defeated Barcelona 2-1 in the Copa del Rey Round of 16 first leg on Thursday night.

Levante dominated control in a match where Barcelona star player Lionel Messi was not listed to play a part and many soccer followers suggest Barcelona’s decision to rest key players accounted for the outcome of the Match.

Lopez has now played down such claims and feels the victory was no less commendable even in the Argentine’s absence.

“For a team like ours, defeating Barcelona is always based on merit and I am not going to take anything away from it.

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“We are aware that the best player in the world was not present, but I am very proud of my team, very proud,”  Lopez told Marca.

Levante made some changes to their lineup as eight new faces played a part in the game.

Barcelona look set to concentrate on LaLiga title race.