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Players Abroad of Monday, 14 May 2018


Ghana's Emmanuel Boateng hat-trick ends Barca unbeaten record

Ghana striker Emmanuel Boateng scored his first career hat-trick as lowly Levante ended Barcelona's dream of going a whole La Liga season unbeaten.

Barcelona were beaten 5-4 in a remarkable game played at the Estadi Ciutat de València on Sunday.

Boateng, who reportedly has been invited for the Black Stars friendlies against Iceland and Japan, became the first player to net a hat-trick against Barcelona in La Liga since Diego Forlan in 2005.

The hosts moved into a 5-1 lead, with Emmanuel Boateng scoring a three goals and Enis Bardhi netting twice.

Philippe Coutinho scored a hat-trick of his own and Luis Suarez netted a penalty to set up a tense finale.

But Barcelona could not find an equaliser as they fell to a first La Liga defeat in 44 games.

Ernesto Valverde, beaten in La Liga for the first time as Barcelona boss, may regret his decision to rest top scorer Lionel Messi for the trip to 15th-placed Levante.

After coming through their game against Real Madrid unbeaten last weekend, it looked as though history beckoned for Barcelona.

No side have gone an entire Spanish top-flight season unbeaten since the 1930s when there were only 18 games in a season.