Rayo Vallecano 1-0 FC Barcelona
Radamel Falcao scored his first goal against Barcelona in eight years in powering Rayo Vallecano to a 1-0 triumph this evening at the Estadio de Vallecas.
It was another limp performance from Barcelona, who mustered little in attack and were defeated by a classic finish from the legendary Colombian striker. Adding to the misery was Memphis Depay’s failure to convert a second half penalty, leaving Barcelona winless away from home in five LaLiga matches.
After opening his Barcelona account in Sunday’s Clasico loss to Real Madrid, Sergio Aguero earned his first start under coach Ronald Koeman, who also opted to keep Sergino Dest in a more advanced winger role, while Sergi Roberto was slotted in at right-back.
The teams traded chances in the first half-hour with Oscar Trejo and Falcao probing the Barcelona goal for the hosts, while Memphis and Dest had looks at goal for the Catalan visitors.
Things changed though shortly there after when Sergio Busquets lost a ball in midfield, leading to a Rayo break that ended with Trejo playing to Falcao, who made a move to shake Gerard Pique and fired in a shot that beat goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen for a 1-0 Rayo lead.
For the second straight match Dest had it on a silver platter to give his side an equaliser, but just like against Los Blancos, the United States international skied a shot over the crossbar from up close.
Barcelona’s poor finishing carried into the second stanza, this time with Nico Gonzalez wasting a chance after receiving a floated in pass from Eric Garcia, followed by two looks for Aguero, who was off-target on the first and then was stopped by Rayo goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski on the second.
Koeman made his first substitution on the hour mark, with the forgotten Yusuf Demir getting 30 minutes in place of Sergi Roberto, and Barcelona’s efforts looked like they would finally pay off when Oscar Valentin brought down Memphis in the area, but the Dutchman’s penalty was saved by Dimitrievski.
Back to the bench went Koeman, with Gavi summoned to replace the ineffective Philippe Coutinho and then later Luuk de Jong for Nico, but it made no difference whatsoever, as Barcelona failed to convert any of their last-gasp chances to slump to another away loss.