FULL-TIME, Rayo 2-1 Barcelona: Barça were second best all night long and deservedly drop all three points on the road. They still have a safe lead at the top of the table, but they wasted a chance to end the title race and once again played very poorly.
83’ GOAL! Rayo 2-1 Barcelona (Lewandowski): BARÇA GET ONE BACK! The visitors give themselves hope of a late comeback as a shot from Franck Kessie is blocked and Lewandowski pounces on the rebound to fire home a left-footed rocket! GAME ON!
53’ GOAL, Rayo 2-0 Barcelona (Fran García): Rayo double their lead as Rayo left-back Fran García wins the ball from Frenkie De Jong in midfield and runs all alone into the box to fire home the second.
SECOND HALF KICKOFF! Rayo 1-0 Barcelona: Back underway in Madrid! Can Barça make a comeback?
HALFTIME, Rayo 1-0 Barcelona: Barça were thoroughly outplayed by the home team, who executed their gameplan to perfection and overwhelmed Barça with their intensity, high pressing and quick ball movement. The Catalans showed signs of life late in the half and had a goal disallowed, but they are still far from their best and need to play a lot better to have any hopes of a second half comeback.
42’ GOAL DISALLOWED: Barça equalize through Robert Lewandowski, but the goal is ruled out for a narrow offside.
19’ GOAL, Rayo 1-0 Barcelona (Álvaro): Rayo Vallecano take the lead on a quick counter-attack that ends with a powerful shot from Álvaro García into the bottom corner.
KICKOFF! Rayo 0-0 Barcelona: And we’re underway in Vallecas!
WELCOME TO THE CAMPO DE FÚTBOL DE VALLECAS!!! The tiny, cozy home of Rayo Vallecano in the city of Madrid is the site of a big La Liga clash between the hosts and Barcelona, who come into this one looking to increase their lead at the top of the table to 14 points with a win and essentially end the title race. But they have a brutal opponent in Rayo, a talented team that plays very well at home and always brings their A-game against Barça. This should be fun, and you’re welcome to join us to follow and comment all the action. Vamos!
(Note: the comments will be open only when the team news come out, because our commenter people love commenting and sometimes there are too many comments in the comments section)
Starting XI: Ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, Alonso, Balde; Pedri, De Jong, Gavi; Raphinha, Lewandowski, Ferran (4-3-3)
Substitutes: Peña (GK), Tenas (GK), Eric, Riad, Alba, Casadó, Kessie, Torre, Yamal, Fati
Starting XI: Dimitrievski; Balliu, Lejeune, Catena, García; Valentín, López; Isi, Trejo, Álvaro; Camello (4-2-3-1)
Substitutes: López (GK), Morro (GK), Hernández, Suárez, Chavarria, Mumin, Saveljich, Ciss, Pozo, Martín, Sánchez, De Tomás
Competition/Round: 2022-23 La Liga, Matchday 31
Date/Time: Wednesday, April 26, 2023, 10pm CET (Barcelona), 9pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 4pm ET, 1pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Thursday)
Venue: Campo de Fútbol de Vallecas, Madrid, Spain
Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano
VAR: José Luis González González
HOW TO WATCH
On TV: ESPN Deportes (USA), TSN 3 (Canada), Viaplay Sports 1 (UK), SuperSport (Nigeria), Sports18 (India), Not Available (Spain), others
Online: ESPN+ (USA), LaLigaTV (UK), DAZN (Spain), others
Matchday Thread Rules
We don’t have a lot of rules here, but there are a few things to keep in mind when joining our matchday threads:
Even if the referee sucks or we lose the game, watch the swearing. It’s just unnecessary. Also, don’t discuss illegal streaming links. Those who do it will be warned, and those who post links will be instantly banned. Finally, be nice to each other. This is a Barcelona community and we don’t need to offend one another.
Have fun with the game! Forever and ever, no matter the competition, VISCA EL BARÇA!