Radamel Falcao scored and Memphis Depay missed a penalty as Rayo Vallecano piled more misery on Ronald Koeman with a 1-0 win over Barcelona.
The Catalans visited Vallecas in need of a strong response following Sunday’s defeat to Real Madrid in the first Clasico of the season.
Instead, Barca fans were given another sign of how far their team have fallen.
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An even first half saw few opportunities created until the 30th minute when Falcao made the most of some slack play from Sergio Busquets to guide a finish in off the inside of the far post.
Sergio Aguero, handed his first start for his new club, spurned two good chances to restore parity in the second half before Jordi Alba’s match came to an early end due to injury.
Barca looked to have been given a lifeline when Memphis was tripped inside the box, but the Dutch forward had his penalty kick saved by Stole Dimitrievski as Rayo Vallecano held on to their lead.
The result lifts Rayo Vallecano up to fifth place in the La Liga table after a strong start to the season, while Barcelona are slumped in ninth place with pressure almost certain to intensify on Koeman.
TALKING POINT - Radamel Falcao has still got it
Eyebrows were raised when it was announced earlier this season that Falcao had signed for Rayo Vallecano, but the Colombian centre forward is enjoying a career renaissance in La Liga, underlined by his match-winning finish in this game. Most players would have rushed the shot after being played in behind, but Falcao had the composure to cut back inside and guide his effort in off the inside of the far post. Even at the age of 35, he’s still got it!
MAN OF THE MATCH - Oscar Trejo (Rayo Vallecano)
Falcao might have grabbed the headlines with his goal, but Oscar Trejo was just as important for Rayo Vallecano as they claimed a significant victory. The Argentine was everywhere as Barcelona struggled to control the match in the centre of the pitch. Trejo provided the assist for the match-winner, but the 33-year-old gave Rayo energy and drive for the time that he was on the pitch.
Rayo Vallecano - Dimitrievski 8, Balliu 6, Saveljich 6, Catena 6, Fran Garcia 7, Comesana 6, Valentin 6, Isi 8, Trejo 9*, Alvaro Garcia7, Falcao 8. Subs - Lopez 6, Ciss 6, Nteka 7.
Barcelona - Ter Stegen 5, Dest 4, Pique 5, Eric Garcia 4, Alba 4, Busquets 3, Nico 4, Sergi Roberto 5, Memphis 3, Coutinho 2, Aguero 7. Subs - Demir 5, Gavi 4, L. De Jong 3.
30’ GOAL! Rayo Vallecano 1-0 Barcelona: Falcaooooooooo! He's found the back of the net and Rayo Vallecano have the lead over Barcelona! Busquets lost the ball in his own half and was made to pay for it with Falcao cutting back and guiding a shot in off the inside of the far post!
39’ What a chance for Dest! Memphis got to the byline and squared the pass for Dest who got ahead of his marker in the middle, but the USA international scoops over the target!
61’ Aguero was in behind! Nico created the chance with a driving run and pass through the centre of the pitch, but the Rayo Vallecano goalkeeper came out quickly to make the save.
70’ PENALTY KICK TO BARCELONA! Memphis is kicked inside the box and the referee points to the spot!
71’ PENALTY KICK SAVED! Dimitrievski goes the right way and makes the stop from Memphis! Nothing is going right for Barcelona at the moment!
90+7’ THAT WAS THE CHANCE! That should have been the equaliser for Barcelona! Aguero squared the pass for Gavi, but the 17-year-old scuffed his effort wide of the target. Rayo survive!
Barcelona failed to register a shot on target in the first half of a La Liga match for only the second time since the start of the 2003/04 season.
At 35 years and 220 days old, Radamel Falcao became the oldest player to score four or more goals in his first six games for a La Liga club.
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