Led five minutes away from the finish line, Barça had an unexpected success on the field of Rayo Vallecano (3-2), thanks to two late goals from Ousmane Dembélé, who entered the game, and Luis Suarez.
The Rayo Vallecano can feed immense regrets. 19th in Liga with just one small success since the start of the season, the club from the outskirts of Madrid came very close-exactly three minutes-to a resounding exploit at home against the club that, six days earlier, had disgusted Real Madrid (5-1). In the 87th minute of the game, taking advantage of the leaders ‘lack of offensive inspiration and bursting into the gaps opened by the Barcelona defence, they were in fact leading two goals to one, having answered brilliantly at the opening of the scoreboard, early in the game, by Luis Suarez on a nice remise by Jordi Alba (11′).
By installing by sequences a very high pressing, the Valiants of Madrid had indeed upset this team of Barça, still deprived of Messi (elbow) and surprisingly clumsy in its transmissions. It was one of those mistakes that led José Angel Pozo, who had missed a huge opportunity a few moments earlier, equalized with a nice coiled shot that hit the base of Ter Stegen’s post before crossing the line (35′). Still unrecognizable on the way back from the dressing rooms, the Blaugrana even let Alvaro Garcia give the advantage to Rayo (57’), an opportunist after a ball sent back by the post.
Dembélé, a remarkable entrance
Faced with the apathy of his players, Ernesto Valverde quickly acted by replacing Rafinha with Ousmane Dembélé (52′): on his right side, the French winger brought some percussion, and if the Rayo continued to offer itself some chances, repulsed by Ter Stegen, it is indeed the Habs world champion who ended up equalizing, picking up a ball handed from the chest by dive (87′). Luis Suarez, author of a triplet last weekend, then finished the work by taking over a long centre by Sergi Roberto (90′). It wasn’t necessarily good to see, but the main thing is assured for the catalans, who are still four points ahead of Atlético de Madrid, while Alaves (3rd) faces Eibar on Sunday (12h00).