Barcelona crashed to a 1-0 defeat to Rayo Vallecano away in La Liga, with Radamel Falcao scoring the only goal.
The visitors dominated the possession from the beginning but it was Rayo who struck first after a brilliant goal from Colombian striker Radamel Falcao.
Barca had a great chance to salvage a point after being awarded a penalty in the second half. However, Memphis Depay had his shot saved by goalkeeper Dimitrievksi.
The defeat is Barca’s third in La Liga this season and they still sit at ninth in the table while Rayo are just a point behind Real Madrid at fifth.
Memphis Depay misses a crucial penalty.
Memphis Depay was lively in the attack today, trying to be Barca’s creative outlet and at the same finding himself in dangerous positions. A goal or an assist was all needed to make it a near-perfect performance and Depay rightfully got the opportunity when he won a penalty by himself. However, the Dutch forward failed to capitalise on it as his shot was saved by the Rayo keeper. He did find the nets from the spot against Valencia weeks ago in the La Liga game but he couldn’t replicate it today.
Coutinho’s substandard display
Philippe Coutinho has been getting more chances of late due to Ronald Koeman’s trust in him. Returning to full fitness this season, the Brazilian scored his first goal of this season against Valencia and was also expected to build on that performance. Against Rayo, Coutinho hardly made his presence felt and also squandered a big chance inside the box in the second half. The former Liverpool star struggled to operate as a central midfielder and Barca should deploy Gavi, Nicolo Gonzalez and Riqui Puig in the first place.
Nico Gonazalez’s impressive performance despite the loss
Nico Gonzalez entered the starting 11 in the absence of injured Frenkie de Jong and what he did today was quite reminiscent of the Dutch midfielder. Despite being labelled as a successor to Sergio Busquets, Nico played more like De Jong. From breaking the lines to carrying the ball at will, the 19-year-old hardly showed any nerves. He could have added a goal and an assist to his name today if things had gone in the way.
Koeman’s future looks bleak.
The Dutch manager might have hit rock bottom after today’s loss against Rayo. Koeman has been under mounting pressure throughout this season due to Barca’s poor form in both La Liga and the Champions League. Barca are currently ninth in the league table and it will take a lot of work to reach the top four while one more defeat in the Champions League could end their round of 16 hopes. It is safe to say that Koeman is not the manager to carry the Catalan club forward and it has to be someone like Erik Ten Hag and Xavi.