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Barca drop points at Rayo for the third season in a row 

Barcelona are third in La Liga after a late own goal salvaged a tie at Rayo Vallecano.

Barcelona are third in La Liga after a late own goal salvaged a tie at Rayo Vallecano.

First-Half Setback

Barcelona found themselves trailing to an impressive strike by Unai Lopez in the opening half, conceding a lead to Athletic Club Bilbao. Despite Barca’s domination in the second half, they struggled to convert promising opportunities, leaving them chasing the game.

Late Equalizer

The breakthrough for Barcelona finally arrived when Florian Lejeune, under pressure from Robert Lewandowski, inadvertently bundled the ball into his own net, allowing Barca to level the score.

Upcoming Matches for Rivals

Real Madrid, currently in second place, are set to face Cadiz on Sunday, while league leaders Girona are scheduled to host Athletic Bilbao on Monday, which could potentially impact the league standings.

Barcelona’s Lineup Changes

Barcelona made significant alterations to their lineup, introducing six changes from their previous match against Alaves, where they secured a comeback victory before the international break. However, the absence of goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen due to injury saw Inaki Pena step in, displaying signs of unease from the start of the game.

Vulnerabilities in Defense

Pena’s shaky performance in goal was evident, culminating in Athletic Club Bilbao’s opening goal courtesy of Lopez’s powerful right-footed strike midway through the first half.

Barcelona’s ability to salvage a draw despite early setbacks showcases their resilience, but the match highlighted certain vulnerabilities that they’ll need to address to maintain their position in the league standings.

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