Sergio Busquets: Barcelona caught 'asleep' in Copa del Rey loss

Barcelona players celebrate scoring in a past match

Barcelona players celebrate scoring in a past match

Memories of the 5-4 thriller at Ciutat de Valencia last season that cost Ernesto Valverde's men an unbeaten LaLiga campaign came flooding back during an end-to-end first half in which Levante thrived.

Neither is expected to face Levante in the Copa del Rey on Thursday and Valverde refused to rule out the possibility of bolstering his options.

Barcelona found themselves a goal behind after just four minutes with Erick Cabaco rising to head home past Jasper Cilessen.

Valverde defended his team selection, insisting the injection of youngsters Juan Miranda and Chumi, along with new arrival Jeison Murillo, was a gamble worth taking.

"The result is not the best", Murillo was quoted as saying by Marca.

The lead was doubled on 18 minutes as Borja Mayoral - on loan from Real Madrid- managed to squeeze the ball into the back of the net through a couple defenders.

Philippe Coutinho gave FC Barcelona some hope by netting a late away goal in their 2-1 defeat Levante in the first leg.

Fernandez then denied Carles Alena from distance as the Spanish champions continued to create openings, although the door was open for Levante down the other end of the field.

Coutinho had Barcelona's first sight of goal in the second half, but the Brazilian's 52nd-minute effort was always rising over the home side's crossbar.

Moments after coming on as a substitute, Jose Luis Morales had the chance to make it 3-0 but lifted over the goal when clear through against Cillessen.

Arsenal target Denis Suarez was brought on however and won his side's penalty with six minutes remaining after a superb individual run down the inside right channel.

The second leg takes place at the Nou Camp next Thursday.