Barcelona have not won on the road this season and the pain continued at Vallecas, with a toothless display against Rayo Vallecano. By contrast their ‘tiger’ Radamel Falcao bit into the Catalans’s soft underbelly and had his fill.
The goal was a mistake by Sergio Busquets, caught on the ball, compounded by Gerard Pique’s sluggish defending. Colombia hitman Falcao sent him the wrong way and expertly found the far corner.
And yet, that strike, in the 30th minute, was not where this game was lost. At the other end Barcelona offered nothing.
Philippe Coutinho’s feeble display summed up Barcelona’s impotence in attacking areas, while Memphis Depay was almost as bad. The Dutchman won a penalty in the second half but missed it, firing too close to Rayo goalkeeper Dimitrievski. It was Barcelona’s only shot on target.
That’s a growing problem, although the defence is still weak too and if there was another goal in the game it probably would have gone to Rayo, rather than the visitors.
Ronald Koeman could do nothing from the sidelines, with Yusuf Demir, Gavi and Co unable to change the game from the bench. Gavi had a chance but skewed it, similar to Sergino Dest in the first half. The American missed his third huge chance in three games, blazing over the bar from a few yards out. That’s why he’s not a right-winger.
The one positive was Sergio Aguero, who offered a couple of bright moments, but it’s not enough. This Barça, ninth, is not enough.