Not a penalty. Not even a penalty did Barça know to tie a match that it had previously given away. And so he ended as always, defeated, unable to find solutions to that decline to which there is no end in sight. Nor is it a remedy. If it’s not Atlético, it’s Madrid. And if it is not Benfica, it is now even Rayo who knocks him down, submerged the team of Koeman in mediocrity leaving images full of sorrow because his game is as depressing as it is hopeless, with Laporta loading up on reasons to make the decision he had made since last summer. But he couldn’t do it, while the Catalans were wasting chances in added time (Kun, Luuk de Jong, Gavi …)
Have such a good heart and so little football that Barça complicates life. There is no game in which he does not bleed himself. For what it gives and, above all, for what it fails. To begin with, he was 10 minutes late in Vallecas. Ten minutes in which the Rayo de Iraola subdued him in such a way that he took away even the ball. Without the ball and without the necessary intensity, Koeman’s team mutated until it was disfigured. And that shy reaction that he later pointed out through the Nico figure, another child who does not understand delicate scenarios. He had the personality and energy that were not seen in the ‘sacred cows’ in that first half marked by the error of Busquets, together with the defensive slowness symbolized in that race of Falcao, who won with cunning and intelligence Pique, helped because that shot hit the right post of Ter Stegen.
Located to the right of Busquets was the only one who knew how to understand what the party demanded. He asked and asked for the ball, ripping Rayo with daring drives while Coutinho got tired of losing individual duels. Iraola? To his, pressure from Trejo and career from Falcao. So simple and so simple. Goal against for the Barça in the second shot that it received in the goal of Ter Stegen, another defensive drama. That goal shattered Koeman’s team’s already weak self-esteem. To the defensive gift, Busquets decided to think with the ball at his feet, the chaos in attack was added, symbolized, again, in another shot of Dest into the clouds. And, again, situated as he was in the small area of the Rayista goal, as if he wanted to repeat the tremendous mistake of the classic.
Nico the best
Koeman, who opted for a flexible 4-3-3 having Nico, superb service of yours, and Coutinho, invisible as usual, escorting Busquets, had no hit. Kun was not supplied with some balls, being locked between the orderly and demanding defense of Rayo. Barça left losing at half-time without knowing if Dimitrievski was wearing gloves or had forgotten them in the locker room. Nor would I have needed them. Not a single shot on goal in 45 minutes by Koeman’s innocent and ramshackle team, whose future is increasingly conditioned.
The technician is running out of time. And the four captains (Busquets, Piqué, Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba were starters), also in that endless decline that Barça has dragged on in recent years. The coaches are changing (Valverde, Setién and, perhaps, soon Koeman enters that select list of unemployed culés) and the problem is not solved.
It took, it must be said, an hour of play for Kun to shoot on goal after another great individual action by Nico. The usual. Then, the technician disregarded the initial plan after removing Sergi Roberto and placing Demir on the right flank of the attack, placing Dest on the side again. The Ray did not need to do much more in the second half because he already had the treasure of Falcao, a striker who always marks Barcelona. Quite the opposite of Memphis, which did not even hit a penalty. They did it to him. And he failed it. He threw it lamely allowing Dimitrievski to lie on his right side to clear it. In those minutes of chaos, even the coach dispensed with Nico, the best and by far, to line up two center forwards (Kun and Luuk de Jong) in a desperate 4-4-2, where he ended up with Piqué exercising up to third nine .
And Laporta, meanwhile, in the small Vallecas box, meditating what decisions he should make. If he takes any. The simple one already knows, no matter how much he ratified Koeman hours before the defeat in the Metropolitano against Atlético. But Barça goes from defeat to defeat (It has been like this for years) towards perdition. If this is not the downfall.
The card of Rayo Vallecano – Barça
VALLECANO RAY: Dimitrievski (8); Balliu (5), Saveljich (7), Catena (6), Fran García (6); Valentín (6), Comesaña (7), Isi Palazón (6), Trejo (7), Álvaro García (6) and Falcao (8).
Changes: Unai López (6) for Comesaña (d. 63); Ciss (sc) by Trejo (m. 76); Nteka (sc) by Falcao (m. 76); Mario Suárez (sc) for Valentín (m. 90)
Technical: Andoni Iraola (8).
BARÇA: Ter Stegen (4), Sergi Roberto (4), Eric García (5), Piqué (4), Jordi Alba (4), Nico (7), Busquets (4), Coutinho (3), Dest (3), Kun Agüero (4) and Memphis (3).
Changes: Demir (4) by Sergi Roberto (m. 59); Gavi (sc) from Coutinho (d. 74); Luuk de Jong (sc) by Nico (m. 83)
Technical: Ronald Koeman (4).
GOALS: 1-0, (m. 30), Falcao
REFEREE: Mateu Lahoz (6), Valencian
YELLOW CARDS: Trejo (c. 23); Coutinho (c. 52): Piqué (c. 66); Saveljich (d. 82)
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.