FC Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano: Hits and Flops | LaLiga 2018-19
Barcelona faced Rayo Vallecano at Camp Nou before they get ready for Lyon mid-week. The previous fixture at the Vallecas was a tough one for the Blaugrana as they only scraped past Vallecano to get the win.
Keeping the midweek game in mind, Valverde rested Rakitic and Clement Lenglet and started Arturo Vidal and Samuel Umtiti. Ousmane Dembele was also rested for Philippe Coutinho. Even though Barcelona enjoyed a lot of possession in the first half and had some half-chances, it was Rayo Vallecano who took the lead, against the run of play. Raul de Tomas finished off a brilliant piece of play, created out of nothing by himself.
Barcelona kept pushing for the equalizer and soon got their reward. Lionel Messi made Rayo pay for their lack of defensive capabilities during set pieces, with a beautifully curled ball and Gerard Pique greeted it with his head.
In the second half, Arthur came off for Ousmane Dembele and Barcelona's attacking flair multiplied in the right wing. Dembele and Semedo's link-up play got Barcelona a penalty which was converted with a minimum of fuss by Lionel Messi. Ivan Rakitic came on for Coutinho late in the day, but he made his quickest of contributions by building up towards Suarez's goal and the final assist.
Barcelona are still 7 points clear of Atletico Madrid at top of the table in La Liga and now have the big one to play on Wednesday against Lyon. Here are five hits and flops from the game.
#5 Flop: Jordi Amat
Jordi Amat had a very tough time on the field, be it against Ousmane Dembele after he came on, or Nelson Semedo and Arturo Vidal from the start. Even though he completed 100% of attempted tackles, he was possibly the worst Vallecano defender.
Amat gave away the unnecessary free-kick to Barcelona when he fouled Arturo Vidal and Lionel Messi made them pay from the angle. He should have known better, that his team is weak defending set-pieces from the side. He also couldn't deal with the pressure that Dembele and Semedo created from the wing in the second half and both players could find a through ball to each other easily.
Consequently, he clipped Semedo inside the box to concede the penalty that gave Barcelona the lead. A bad performance from Jordi Amat which saw him directly giving away two set pieces that turned to goal.