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La Liga: FC Barcelona 6-0 Rayo Vallecano: Match Review

A recap of Barcelona's emphatic 6-0 La Liga win over Rayo Vallecano at the Camp Nou on Saturday evening

David Ramos

FC Barcelona retained their place at the top of the La Liga table on Saturday evening, and sent out an emphatic message to Manchester City in the process, thrashing Rayo Vallecano 6-0 at the Camp Nou. Adriano Correia got the ball rolling with an early goal after less than two minutes of play, before goals from Lionel Messi (2), Alexis Sánchez, Pedro Rodriguez and Neymar (!) completed the rout.


Rayo Vallecano




Total Shots



Shots on Target



Pass Accuracy












Yellow Cards



Red Cards



Our opposition for Tuesday night, Manchester City, made light work of Chelsea earlier this evening running out comfortable 2-0 winners at the Etihad Arena; so in a sense, the pressure was on FC Barcelona to do the same against lowly Rayo Vallecano at the Camp Nou. While there was no room in the starting line-up for Brazilian forward Neymar, Barça had selected a strong team for the visit of the Madrid-based outfit and were hoping to cruise to victory. Would it be that straight-forward, or would Paco Jemez’ side pull off an upset?


And we aren’t just talking about a standard "no" here, we’re talking about an emphatic "no" – like "Barcelona are going to score within 90 seconds of kick-off" emphatic. Cutting inside from the left-wing, Adriano Correia (who replaced Jordi Alba at left-back) attempted a speculative effort at goal and reaped the rewards. His well-placed effort found its way through the sea of shirts and past Rayo goalkeeper Ruben into the far corner of the net. All in all, I think we can classify that as a good start from the Blaugrana.

It could have been even better too; Andrés Iniesta spotted Ruben well off his line and attempted an audacious volleyed effort from just inside the Rayo half – while he couldn’t direct it on target, it certainly got the Camp Nou crowd on the edge of their seats. Soon after, Lionel Messi threatened to have the watching Culés jumping in delight as he controlled an excellent pass from Cesc Fàbregas, turned his marker before rattling the frame of the goal with a right-footed shot.

Pedro was encouraged by that chance, so much so that he decided to clip the other post after fantastic work from Iniesta created a chance on goal around the 17 minute mark, and the Spanish midfielder was at his magical best once again just moments later. His cross-field pass tore the Rayo defense to shreds and sent Alexis Sánchez racing through down the right-hand side, but with Messi streaking into the middle, Alexis was caught in two minds. Eventually, the Chilean couldn’t make up his mind and tried to combine scoring with passing. Needless to say it didn’t work out too well and a good chance went begging.

Somehow, the visitors nearly made Barça pay for their wastefulness as Carles Puyol’s misjudgement created a rare opportunity that Victor Valdés denied not once, but twice. The first time the Catalan shot-stopper had to leap down to the turf to claw at the ball which was just out of the control of the Rayo forward, and on the second occasion, Valdés had to parry a follow-up attempt.

That was just a momentary blip from the hosts however; they quickly returned to the attack as the outstanding Iniesta shimmied past a defender to set-up Pedro, whose square pass was cut out by a superb last-ditch intervention from the Rayo defense. Without that crucial block, Messi would have had an easy tap-in at the far post, and Rayo would have been out of the game.

The Argentine was just getting started though; denied on that occasion by the defense, Messi set about creating some chances of his own. Shifting the ball onto his right foot, Messi tried his luck from long range and forced an incredible save from Ruben. The resulting corner saw Messi leave a defender on the floor before his dribble down the byline culminated in a cheeky attempt at goal, which again, was saved by Ruben.

So that wasn’t working, but maybe creating chances for others would? Messi thought it was worth a shot, lifting the ball over the Rayo defense to find Cesc Fàbregas on the left-hand side of attack, but the Catalan saw his cross blocked by the committed Rayo backline.

If chipping the ball over the Rayo defense wasn’t the answer, Messi had a back-up solution. Why not cut out the middle man and just chip the Rayo goalkeeper?

Why not indeed, Cesc Fàbregas returned the favour with a nice pass to find Messi in space, and La Pulga lifted the ball over Ruben to finally double Barcelona’s lead on the night. Keeping possession, creating chances and defending well; this was pretty much a perfect first-half performance from FC Barcelona.

The superb play continued after the interval, as Barcelona set about adding a third goal to the scoreline – a third goal that was ably added by Alexis Sánchez. Whether it was an intelligent run to find space, or whether the all-round excellent team play created that space doesn’t really matter; all that matters is that Sánchez found himself alone on the right-hand side of attack. And when you play for Barcelona, that never fails to go unnoticed. Lionel Messi picked him out, and in turn Alexis picked out the bottom corner, leaving Ruben helpless with an icy cool finish.

Barça were running riot, and what better way to demonstrate their superiority than by walking the ball into the net? This was Globetrotter-style antics; one-touch play, back-heeled through balls and a selfless pass from Fàbregas teed up Pedro for the night’s fourth goal, a simple tap-in that left the crowd shaking their heads in disbelief. I can assure them this was no mirage, Barcelona really were this good.

With a healthy four goal lead, Neymar was readied and made his comeback, replacing Pedro just after the hour mark. On another night, the Brazilian could have probably scored with his very first touch. Messi was through on goal (duh) and with Neymar in support, elected to go for goal when he could have teed up the Brazilian. You would have put money on Messi burying that chance, but he blazed it wide of the post.

Neymar wasn’t discouraged by that and nearly forged another chance for himself with an impeccably timed run which was well picked out by Dani Alves, but before Neymar could cut inside and pull the trigger, he was dispossessed by the recovering Rayo defense.

Dani Alves went for goal himself a minute later, drilling a right-footed effort agonisingly wide before Lionel Messi grabbed his second of the evening – Alexis Sánchez could have gone for goal himself following another great pass from Fàbregas, but he teed up Messi instead. Opening up his body, Messi struck it first time and placed the ball into the far corner to complete the Manita.

This was getting out of hand. Thanks to a combination of over-elaborate plays and the frame of the goal, Barcelona had "only" scored five goals, when really it wouldn’t have been a surprise to see a couple of digits next to their name on the scoreboard. Further proof, if any was needed came in the form of a goal-saving block from Castro, denying Fàbregas a deserved goal. And still, Barça weren’t done.

They continued to create chances – chances for Neymar, nearly even chances for Gerard Piqué. Then, when Barcelona stopped creating chances for each other, Neymar created a chance for himself. Well, not even that; he just dribbled into some space – fully 25 yards from goal – and let fly with an absolute GOLAZO, thundering the ball into the top corner of Ruben’s net with a sumptuous right-footed strike. Reeling away in delight, Neymar had a look on his face which just about summed the whole night up...

We’re back.

Next up, Barcelona travel to Manchester, where a mouth-watering tie with Manchester City awaits. Until then, Visca el Barça!

Roll Call Info
Total comments 549
Total commenters 30
Commenter list AL_LM10, Anders Thomassen, Ayush Tiwari, BenX6, Bostjan Cernensek, Eixample amigo, FCB4Ever, GasperSM, Giancarlo8, Harshiv Karia, Inder Methil, Iniesta_obsession, JBeck12, Kazzem, Lapulga, Maaz Rehman, NoImagination90, PlayerFan, Ricardo Blonde, Richzorz, Som-i-Serem, ViscaViscaBarca, craig00000, damaso, dlapa, feeya7, footballfordoze, ikool, pogis1991, tgmgg
Story URLs
# Commenter # Comments
1 craig00000 83
2 NoImagination90 75
3 JBeck12 54
4 GasperSM 35
5 Inder Methil 34
6 Anders Thomassen 31
7 Som-i-Serem 27
8 AL_LM10 24
9 feeya7 23
10 footballfordoze 22

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