Nico Gonzalez was one of the few positives as Barcelona succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday, resulting in Ronald Koeman’s sacking.
Coming into the game on the back of the loss in El Clasico, Barcelona were in desperate need of a win and had a couple of early openings engineered by Nico Gonzalez, but Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero failed to put away the chances. Rayo Vallecano took advantage of it, with Radamel Falcao putting them in front at the half-hour mark with a fine finish after a swift break.
Barcelona had more chances to level things up on either side of half-time. Still, Depay and Aguero were not at their clinical best on the evening, while Nico Gonzalez missed a decent chance. The Catalans even won a penalty after Depay was tripped inside the box, but the Dutchman could not put the ball into the net from 12 yards out.
The Blaugrana continued to push for an equaliser, but it was not forthcoming as Aguero missed another late chance while substitute Gavi also failed to hit the target from a promising position. Rayo held on to their narrow lead to condemn Barca to yet another defeat in La Liga, which eventually led to the sacking of Ronald Koeman later on Wednesday night.
Here are our player ratings for the Barcelona stars in what turned out to be the Dutchman’s last game in charge of the team.
Joan Laporta decided after Wednesday night defeat vs Rayo. pic.twitter.com/dBYgkGczEY
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) October 27, 2021
Barcelona Player Ratings
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 5/10
Did make a couple of stops on either side of half-time but could not have done anything to prevent Falcao’s match-winning effort. He looked rather shaky with his distribution from the back on the evening.
Sergi Roberto: 5/10
Starting at right-back ahead of Oscar Mingueza, the 29-year-old had some decent moments when he got up the pitch to support Sergino Dest in attack. However, they did not come as regularly as Barcelona would have desired, while his flank was susceptible to several attacks from the home team.
Gerard Pique: 5/10
Did well to stay with Falcao but was turned too easily by the Colombian hitman for the goal. Booked later on for a foul on the former Atletico Madrid striker. Not the most memorable of outings for the veteran defender who spent the last few minutes playing as an additional striker as Barcelona searched for a goal.
Eric Garcia: 6/10
Slight improvement from his recent showings as the ex-Manchester City ace looked steady and assured at the back for the most part. He was confident and composed with the ball at his feet as well.
Jordi Alba: 6.5/10
He was one of Barcelona’s better attacking outlets, so it was surprising to see him not being brought into the game more regularly by his teammates in the first half. More involved after the break and created a couple of chances. He carried on despite having picked up a knock.
Sergio Busquets: 5/10
At fault for the game’s only goal as it was the Barcelona captain who had the ball stolen off him before Rayo Vallecano hit them on the break. Did improve from that point on and kept the team ticking, but the damage had been done.
Nico Gonzalez: 7/10
Despite another defeat yesterday for Barça, there was one bright spot in the form of Nico Gonzalez.
– He was able to hold off the pressure of the Rayo players whenever he was pressed.
– Was at the heart of some good attacking moves and could have bagged an assist and a goal. pic.twitter.com/ssmaHDnL9k
— Abhilash U Prakash (@Abhilashprakash) October 28, 2021
Preferred over Gavi in the middle of the park for Wednesday’s clash, the La Masia graduate was easily the best Barcelona player on the pitch. Everything positive that the Catalans conjured up going forward went through the teenager as Nico helped create several chances on either side of half-time. He had an opportunity to score in the second period but failed to take it. Put in the hard yards off the ball as well, making several key tackles.
Sergino Dest: 6/10
Dest missed a good chance to score in the first period when he skied his effort from close range. But offered good width and attacking impetus on the right flank and created plenty of chances, finishing the game with four key passes played. The USMNT ace needs a bit more polishing on his shooting and end product in general.
Philippe Coutinho: 4/10
Handed a rare starting opportunity, the Brazilian playmaker failed to capitalise. Looked lackadaisical with the ball, constantly losing possession while he was unable to create anything of note. He missed a decent chance in the second half as well before being taken off.
Memphis Depay: 5/10
Had his moments but lacked the killer instincts to take his chances in front of goal. Set up a good opportunity for Dest in the first period, but his shooting was off the radar while Depay was also guilty of not converting from the penalty spot. He needs to sharpen up his tools, having not scored from open play since August.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 27, 2021
Sergio Aguero: 5.5/10
Making his first start for Barcelona, Aguero took up some good positions in the final third and got involved in some neat link-up with those around him. Much like Depay, however, the Argentine had left his scoring boots at home as he failed to convert quite a few chances on the night. He crafted a late opportunity for Gavi, who missed.
Yusuf Demir: 4/10
The youngster was sent on in place of Roberto close to the hour mark. Ineffective and timid.
The teenage prodigy was left out of the lineup to give him some much-needed rest. He came on in the 74th minute to replace Coutinho. But Gavi missed a great chance to equalise in stoppage time.
Luuk de Jong: N/A
Late sub for Nico. Tried to catch the keeper off his line with an effort from a distance but failed.