The Argentine missed a penalty but made up for it by scoring a brace and providing an assist as Bacelona continue Liga streak
FC Barcelona made it four wins from four in La Liga as they comfortably beat Levante by four goals to one at the Camp Nou to maintain their place as table toppers after four games.
Barcelona struggled to get a goal in the first half as it ended 0-0 but they got the lead just five minutes into the second half through Marc Bartra before Neymar added a second few minutes later. Messi converted from the spot to make it 3-0 for the Catalans before Casadesus reduced the deficit for Levante.
Messi had the chance to give Barça a 3-goal lead but missed a penalty before making up for it with a superb finish in the 90th minute to give Barça a well-deserved 4-1 win.
Luis Enrique opted for a surprising line-up that saw Munir El Haddadi and Sandro Ramirez start in place of Andres Iniesta and Luis Suarez who were rested for Barça’s midweek away fixture against Celta Vigo.
The Catalans started the brighter team as expected and started the show early in the game when Messi set up Munir after fine interplay with Neymar, but the youngster could only fire to the side-netting on 6 minutes.
Messi then showed himself minutes later, making a fantastic run and pulling the trigger which was blocked, with his follow up shot too weak to beat Levante’s goalkeeper Ruben.
Barcelona continued creating chances with Messi playing more as a midfielder and Neymar, Sandro and Munir were all presented with clean chances to give Barça the lead but all wasted their opportunities.
The first half ended goalless and Barça were lucky not to have conceded the opener after Nabil Ghadis spurned a great chance from close range but it would be the Catalans who’d score first as they got the opener in the 50th minute through Marc Bartra.
The defender, who was given a starting berth, was in position to meet a beautifully chipped pass from Messi and he chested the ball down before tapping it in from close range to give Barcelona the lead. Bartra dedicated the goal to Rafinha Alcantara who got injured in the UCL game against AS Roma on Wednesday and will miss the rest of the season.
That Bartra goal opened the floodgates for Barça as Neymar made it 2-0 few minutes later. Dani Alves’ cross from the right was not handled well by Levante goalkeeper Ruben and Neymar was on hand to fire home in his second time of asking.
It would be 3-0 to the hosts minutes later after they were presented a chance from the spot when Neymar was felled by Angel Trujillo in the box, allowing Messi to hammer home from 12 yards.
The visitors kept on fighting and finally pulled a goal back in the 66th minute after Marc Andre ter Stegen misjudged a Levante corner to let Casadesus fire home from close range into an empty net. 3-1 it became.
Lionel Messi earned his second penalty of the night later on but the 28-year-old blasted high but would make up for the miss in the 90th minute by capping off a trademark finish that saw him score in front of four defenders and he could have gotten a hat-trick in stoppage time but a pass from Neymar that was bound to find him was blocked and the game ended 4-1 for the Azulgranas.