A lovely lob by Lionel Messi meant the visitors went in front after 35 minutes. He is now within two goals of the all-time Spanish goal scoring league record held by Telmo Zarra at 251 strikes.
78 seconds later, a controlled drilled shot by Neymar ensured that the visitors would go into the half time break with the lead.
|4||Shots on target||7|
Vallecano also had two men sent off after half time, reducing their chances of making a comeback into the game.
Rayo Vallecano started the game brightly, with Bueno picking up the ball on the edge of the area and testing Claudio Bravo with a fizzing effort towards the keeper’s right hand side. However, Barcelona started to string some passes together and Neymar played a delicate through ball to an on-rushing Messi who couldn’t beat Tono in the Rayo net.
Barca continued the attacking play and a precise through ball by Iniesta left Messi one on one with the keeper, only to be called back for a marginal offside decision by the linesman. The through passes were becoming a feature for Barcelona’s play throughout the first half. Pique found Messi with a lofted pass from just inside his own half and the Argentinian captain applied a delicate lob over the keeper to give the visitors a well-earned lead.
Then just seconds after kick-off, the youngster Munir El Haddadi supplied Neymar a pass for the Brazilian to run onto and drill a shot into the bottom left hand corner of the net. Barca looked comfortable throughout the first half, and this continued into the second with Rayo barely posing a threat to the Barca defence. When Baptistao did get through for Rayo, Claudio Bravo made an excellent save to his top right to ensure that the clean sheet would be kept.
Then, on the hour mark, a rash challenge was made by Rayo’s Morcillo who received a second booking for his tackle on Neymar, diminishing Rayo’s chances of salvaging anything from the game. Messi had numerous chances in the second half that he wasted and that could have taken him past the goal scoring record. Just into stoppage time, Rayo’s substitute Aquino went hard into a tackle with Busquets and ultimately getting himself sent off, leaving Rayo to finish the game with 9 men.
This was barcas sixth win in the league and they are yet to concede a goal. This meant that Claudio Bravo has broken previous Nou Camp record holder Pedro Maria Artola’s record of going 560 minutes without condeding.
With Valencia also winning at the Mestalla against current holders Atletico, Barcelona have fierce competition this year to try and win the la liga title and bring it back to Catalonia.
Enrique’s men deployed a new tactic of through balls which worked against a weak Vallecano defence. Can they continue their league form into the champion’s league is what most fans are asking? They face league Minos Eibar next week which seems like another guaranteed 3 points.