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Aubameyang caged as Barcelona slump against Rayo Vallecano

23:21 BST 24/04/2022
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
The Gabon international could not follow up on his goalscoring display against Real Sociedad as the Catalans bowed to the Red Sashes

Barcelona suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat to Rayo Vallecano in Sunday’s La Liga outing, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang failing to score.

The Gabon international was the Blaugrana’s hero last time out as he scored the club’s only goal in their slim 1-0 triumph over Real Sociedad.

Against the Red Sashes, he could not replicate that form as Xavi Hernandez’s men bowed to their sixth defeat of the 2021-22 league campaign. 

Looking to cement their second spot in La Liga, the hosts started brightly but the visitors had other ideas as they took a seventh-minute lead after Alvaro Garcia drilled a shot past goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegan thanks to Isi Palazon's assist.

That goal was a reality check for Barca as they increased the tempo in their quest for an equaliser. However, they were unable to put the ball beyond goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski.

Also, the Macedonian was well-positioned to save strikes from Aubameyang and Ousmane Dembele while Pablo Gavira’s curling effort could only hit the crossbar. 

Even with the introduction of Clement Lenglet, Memphis Depay, and Nico Gonzalez for Sergino Dest, Ferran Torres, and Frenkie de Jong respectively, Xavi’s side laboured in vain in search of an equaliser.

With 20 minutes left on the clock, chances started to arrive in sequence as Ronald Araujo’s header went wide with Depay’s ferocious shot getting saved by Dimitrievski.

Barcelona have now lost their last three home games. Only twice in their history have the Blaugrana suffered three defeats in a row at home in all competitions; three between the 1997/98 and 1998/99 under manager Louis Van Gaal.

After playing for 71 minutes, Aubameyang - who is the top scorer in La Liga in 2022 with nine goals - was substituted for Luuk de Jong.

On the other side, Cape Verde international Bebe was an unused substitute by manager Andoni Iraola as Senegal’s Pathe Ciss was brought in for Santi Comesana after 56 minutes.

Notwithstanding this embarrassing defeat, Barcelona occupy the second spot after accruing 63 points from 33 matches. They will be eyeing redemption against Real Mallorca in their next league outing on May 1.