By 90Min
March 09, 2019

Barcelona came from a goal down to secure a comfortable 3-1 win over Rayo Vallecano at the Nou Camp.

The visitors took a shock first half lead after a brilliant solo effort from Raul De Tomas, the striker driving at the Barcelona defence before curling an effort into the bottom corner from outside the box. 

David Ramos/GettyImages

Unfortunately for Rayo they couldn't hold on until half time, as Lionel Messi whipped a very inviting free kick into the box which Gerard Pique was able to get his head on the end of, heading home to get the league leaders back on level terms.

Rayo's resistance was then broken once more just five minutes into the second half when Messi got his name on the scoresheet from the penalty spot, before Luis Suarez made sure of all three points with 10 minutes remaining with a close range finish to make it 3-1 to Barça.


BARCELONA

Key Talking Point

Ernesto Valverde's men came into the game having not lost any of their previous 14 La Liga games and had just beaten their fiercest rivals Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu twice in three days, but they looked a little off the pace against Rayo.

They went behind through the visitors' first shot on goal in the game and looked stunned. Thankfully for the home fans, they recovered well and snatched an equaliser on the stroke of half time.

David Ramos/GettyImages

Once they went ahead early in the second half they seemed to suck the life out of the Rayo players and they were able to see the rest of the game out relatively comfortably, although it was far from their finest performance this season.  


Player Ratings


Starting XI: ter Stegen (6); Semedo (7), Pique (8), Umtiti (7), Alba (7); Vidal (8), Busquets (7), Arthur (6); Messi (8*), Suarez (8), Coutinho (6).


Substitutes: Dembele (7), Rakitic (7), Malcom (N/A). 

STAR MAN - It wasn't one of the unbelievable performances we've become accustomed to watching from him, but Messi was the player who made the difference on the night.

Everything seemed to flow through the Argentine and he helped turn the game on its head by assisting the first goal with an inviting free kick before getting his name on the scoresheet from the penalty spot. It wasn't particularly a performance to remember by any means, but he was the best player on the night. 


RAYO VALLECANO

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Dimitrieveski (4); Velazquez (6), Galves (5), Amat (4); Advincula (6), Imbula (6); Comesana (5), Moreno (6); Bebe (6), De Tomas (7*), Garcia (6). 

Substitutes: Pozo (5), Embarba (6).


Looking Ahead 

The win means Barcelona are now seven points clear at the top of the league, and they'll now turn their attention to the Champions League as they prepare to host Lyon in the Round of 16 clash with the scored level at 0-0 on aggregate. 

LLUIS GENE/GettyImages

As for Rayo, they'll be hoping to pick themselves up and dust themselves off as they get ready to face Villarreal on Sunday evening in La Liga, trying to claw themselves out of the relegation zone.

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)