Barcelona lost for the second consecutive season in Vallecas against a combative Rayo that took the lead through Álvaro García and Fran García and hardly suffered to maintain a score that the team The blaugrana was only able to cut back in the 83rd minute with a goal from Robert Lewandowski.
Despite the schedule, ten o’clock on a weekday Wednesday, Vallecas wore one of his best clothes to receive Barcelona, who, as happened last season, also on a weekday, again suffered a lot to neutralize the tactic of Andoni Iraola and ended up losing for the third time in the League against the Basque coach’s team.
The Vallecano team took to the pitch with very clear ideas and willing to be the protagonist with the ball, just like their rival, who, despite the return of Pedri, one of the most imaginative players of the Barça team, was very subdued on the line offensive.
Rayo warned of their intentions after 16 minutes with a low shot from Sergio Camello that Ter Stegen cleared and just a moment later the same protagonist, the Madrid striker, won the ball from Gavi in a fight, started the race towards the interior and, upon reaching the edge of the area, he gave way to the left for Álvaro García to launch a cross shot that was unappealable for the German goalkeeper.
Barcelona took a step forward and, after 22 minutes, was able to equalize after a quick play that ended in a one-on-one Robert Lewandowski with Stole Dimitrievski that was cleared by the Macedonian goalkeeper.
The good tactical approach of Iraola dismasted Barcelona, which had no depth and fast players like Raphinha and Ferrán Torres barely entered the game to be decisive in the last meters, partly due to the good work of Alejandro Catena and Florian Lejeune, who put up a wall in the center of the rayista rear. The break, which should have served to refresh Barcelona’s ideas, did not suit the Barça team, which once again found itself surpassed in intensity by Rayo.
Proof of this was the second goal, which came after a loss by Frenkie De Jong, who did not control well a ball in midfield that Fran García stole from him, who started the race like an arrow towards the goal and, upon reaching the Hand in hand with Ter Stegen, he crossed his shot from below. That goal made Xavi desperate and ended up sinking the
Barcelona, who at no time found the formula to hurt their rival, who, as the minutes went by, kept coming higher and higher in search of the third.
Xavi moved his bench and with Ansu Fati and Franck Kessié he improved his game, coming to close the gap in the 83rd minute with a killer goal from Lewandowski when he picked up a dead ball in the area to shoot Dimitrievski. Those were the worst moments for Rayo, who tried to defend himself as best he could against the siege that Barcelona tried to maintain, who was imprecise in the final meters and did not find the necessary arguments to overcome the Madrid team.
The only good news for Barcelona of the day was Real Madrid’s defeat against Girona, which allowed them to maintain their eleven-point advantage as leader. Rayo, for its part, with 43 points celebrated virtual salvation.
2 – Vallecano Lightning: Dimitrievsky; Balliu, Catena, Lejeune, Fran Garcia; Unai López (Chavarría, m.80), Óscar Valentín (Mumin, m.88); Isi, Trejo (Pathé Ciss, m.63), Álvaro García (Salvi, m.80); and Camel (De Tomás, m.88).
1 – Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Koundé, Araujo, Marcos Alonso (Jordi Alba, m.57), Balde; Frenkie de Jong (Eric García, m.79), Pedri (Kessie, m.68), Gavi (Pablo Torre, m.79); Raphinha, Ferran Torres (Ansu Fati, m.87) and Lewandowski.
Goals: 1-0: M.18 Álvaro García; 2-0: M.52 Fran Garcia; 2-1: M.83 Lewandowski.
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