Barcelona takes on Levante this week in Spanish league
MADRID (AP) — Lionel Messi might not be so generous if Barcelona gets another penalty on Sunday against Levante.
The Argentine forward let Neymar take a spot kick in Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Villarreal in the Copa del Rey, but goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo made the save.
And, according to Asenjo, it was an easy save.
“He did the same little run-up and shot the same way he did last time he fired a penalty kick at me,” Asenjo said.
Real Madrid will play Saturday against Deportivo La Coruna in the Spanish league, a week after losing to Atletico Madrid 4-0.
After that match, Cristiano Ronaldo was criticized for celebrating his 30th birthday party with teammates in a club later that night.
Defending champion Atletico will visit Celta Vigo on Sunday.
Here are some things to know about this week’s Spanish league matches:
Deportivo will have to face league leader Real Madrid without defenders Pablo Insua and Sidnei.
“It’s complicated when you have to face so much attacking prowess,” Deportivo defender Borja Lopez. “But it certainly motivates you.”
Madrid, however, should have Portugal central defender Pepe back in the team. He has been sidelined since injuring his ribs in the 2-2 draw with Atletico in the Copa del Rey on Jan. 15.
In the 4-0 loss to Atletico, Real Madrid ran 5.6 miles less than their opponents.
Computer analysis shows Madrid players covered 61.4 miles compared to 67 by Atletico. The only time Madrid covered less ground this season was during its 2-1 loss at Valencia.
Atletico is riding high after beating Madrid.
“We are going through a good patch,” Atletico forward Antoine Griezmann said. “We feel comfortable on the field and are full of confidence that we are playing better all the time.”