Barcelona fell to a shock 1-0 defeat at home to Rayo Vallecano in La Liga, their third straight defeat at Camp Nou in all competitions.
Barcelona failed to strengthen their hold on the second spot in the La Liga table, falling to a 1-0 defeat against Rayo Vallecano at Camp Nou. Alvaro Garcia Rivera scored the solitary goal of the match in the seventh minute and despite consistent pressure from the home side, Rayo managed to maintain their clean sheet.
Jordi Alba, Ronald Araujo and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all came close to equalising for Barcelona but they couldn’t find the back of the net. The home side enjoyed 72% possession and took 18 shots, five of which were on target, but to no avail.
The Blaugrana stayed put in the second spot despite the defeat with 63 points, the same as third-placed Sevilla. Rayo, on other hand, climbed up to the 11th spot in the league table, registering their second consecutive win in La Liga and completing a league double over their illustrious opponents. Here’s how each Barcelona player fared in the encounter:
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 5/10
The German shot-stopper couldn’t do much to stop Rayo Vallecano from scoring. He didn’t have much to do otherwise and completed 85% of his passes.
Sergino Dest: 4/10
Sergino Dest was pulled by Xavi at the half for Barcelona after being partly to blame for Vallecano's opening goal.
'Xavi is furious with Dest' according to Spanish announcers.
— USMNT Only (@usmntonly) April 24, 2022
Sergino Dest was at fault for Rayo’s opener as he failed to stop Alvaro Garcia from taking a shot at Barcelona’s goal. He didn’t do much otherwise and was taken off at half-time for Clement Lenglet.
Ronald Araujo: 7/10
Araujo was the best Barcelona defender on the pitch, commanding the backline brilliantly. He made one clearance, one interception and three tackles, and completed 92% of his passes. 11 of his 14 long balls found his teammates.
Eric Garcia: 6/10
Eric Garcia was much better after Xavi changed to a back-three after half-time. He made three clearances, three interceptions and one tackle. He also won five of his seven aerial duels and three of four long balls.
Jordi Alba: 8/10
Alba was his usual self, full of running up and down the left flank and got into dangerous areas in and around the Rayo Vallecano box. He played in eight crosses and completed five of his six long balls. He also hit the woodwork once but couldn’t get Barcelona to equalise.
Frenkie de Jong: 5/10
Frenkie de Jong was extremely angry at the substitution. He did not sit at the bench, and went directly to the dressing room.
— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) April 24, 2022
The Dutch midfielder struggled to affect proceedings and was eventually taken off after 60 minutes. He played one key pass and completed the only long ball he attempted. He was visibly frustrated after being subbed off by Xavi.
Sergio Busquets: 6.5/10
Busquets shielded his defence well enough but didn’t do much going forward. He completed 84% of his passes, and six of his nine long balls. He won eight ground duels and five aerial duels. He also made three tackles and one interception.
Gavi came close to equalising for Barcelona, striking the bar in the first half. He got into great positions but missed the final delivery. He attempted eight crosses and as many long balls. Gavi also completed all four of the dribbles he attempted. The energetic teenager also had a late penalty claim denied by the referee.
? – Gavi is pushed in the box but the penalty is NOT GIVEN!!! pic.twitter.com/QK1UKFkRpb
— ??? ???? ? (@TheEuropeanLad) April 24, 2022
Ousmane Dembele: 6.5/10
Ousmane Dembele impressed yet again on the right wing for Barcelona. He completed four of the six dribbles he attempted, played two key passes and sent in 17 crosses. He also took five shots on goal but could not find the equaliser.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 4/10
Aubameyang was anonymous for large parts of the game and didn’t do anything of note. He had just 17 touches of the ball and was eventually taken off for Luuk de Jong in the 71st minute of the match.
Ferran Torres: 4/10
Ferran Torres, like Aubameyang, struggled to affect the proceedings. None of his three dribble attempts were successful and his shot was blocked. He was taken off for Memphis in the 60th minute.
— BarçaTimes (@BarcaTimes) April 25, 2022
Clement Lenglet: 6/10
Lenglet came on for Sergino Dest at half-time and helped the defence stay compact. He completed two clearances, two interceptions and two tackles in 45 minutes on the pitch.
Nico Gonzalez: 5/10
Nico came on for de Jong in the 60th minute and slotted alongside Busquets in the central midfield. He completed the only long ball he attempted.
Memphis was much more enterprising than Torres, who he came on for. He took three shots and played two key passes but couldn’t find the breakthrough that Barcelona were desperately looking for.
Luuk de Jong: 4/10
De Jong came on for Aubameyang in the 71st minute but couldn’t do enough to change the outcome of the match.
Adama Traore: 6/10
Traore tried his best to get one back for Barcelona, taking two shots and completing all five of the dribbles he attempted. He also won all six of his ground duels.