Cesc nets late winner as Barcelona defeat Levante

Cesc Fabregas struck the winner in Barcelona's 1-0 triumph over Levante.

Cesc Fabregas struck the winner in Barcelona's 1-0 triumph over Levante.

Fabregas' 84th-minute strike earned a below-par Barcelona a narrow victory over Levante at the Nou Camp to restore the Catalan club's 13-point advantage at the Primera Division summit.

David Villa had seen a 16th-minute penalty saved by Keylor Navas, and that looked like it would prove a costly miss as Barca - perhaps with one eye on Tuesday's Champions League semi-final first leg against Bayern Munich - struggled to break down a spirited Levante defence before Fabregas' late breakthrough.

The win left Barcelona 13 points clear of second-placed Madrid, who beat Real Betis 3-1 earlier to briefly reduce the gap, and meant Tito Vilanova's side could win the title next weekend.

Full-back Eric Abidal made his first start for Barca since February 2012, having undergone liver surgery last year, and looked an assured presence throughout the 90 minutes.

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