Barcelona’s poor run of form at Camp Nou continued on Sunday night as they succumbed to a 0-1 defeat at the hands of Rayo Vallecano in La Liga.
The newly-promoted outfit, who had beaten Barça in the reverse fixture, which ultimately led to Ronald Koeman’s sacking in October last year, clinched a vital win thanks to a goal from Alvaro Garcia.
The victory all but guarantees their safety in La Liga while putting Barcelona under pressure in their pursuit of a top-four finish. The Catalans remain second in the table, but third-placed Sevilla are level on points while Atletico Madrid are just two points shy.
Monday’s defeat to Rayo Vallecano was Barcelona’s third in a row after they lost to Eintracht Frankfurt (UEFA Europa League) and Cadiz (La Liga).
Barcelona have lost three consecutive home games in all competitions for the first time in this millennium and just the second time ever in the club’s history. The only such instance came under Louis van Gaal between the 1997/98 and 1998/99 seasons.
Furthermore, the back-to-back 0-1 defeats to Cadiz and Vallecano mean that Barça have failed to score in consecutive home games in La Liga for the first time since 2008.
The Blaugrana have now lost back-to-back La Liga matches without scoring for the first time since 2003 in the early days of Frank Rijkaard’s tenure.
While Xavi has overseen a lot of progress since taking over as the manager of Barcelona in November last year, his track record at Camp Nou leaves something to be desired.
Indeed, following Sunday’s defeat, the 42-year-old has become the first manager in the history of the club to lose four of his first 13 home matches in charge.
Rayo Vallecano achieve history
By defeating Barcelona 0-1 on Sunday, Rayo Vallecano completed a double over the Catalans in La Liga this season, having also beaten them by the same scoreline in the reverse fixture in October last year.
In doing so, Rayo Vallecano became just the fourth promoted team to win both of their games versus Barcelona in a La Liga campaign. The last time a club achieved this feat was way back in 1997/98 when Salamanca had done the double over the Blaugrana.
It was also a special occasion for Rayo Vallecano boss Andoni Iraola as he became the first manager to beat Barça home and away in his first season in La Liga.