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Oct 4, 2014

Claudio Bravo extended his clean sheet record by another match with Barca wining 2-0 away against Rayo Vallecano. After the defeat to PSG in mid-week Barca needed to get to winning way quickly but Rayo presented a huge challenge. In the end Barca's exceptional quality secured three precious points. With Valencia climbing to the top of the league with a surprising 3-1 victory over defending Champion Atletico Madrid, there was no lack of motivation for Barca. Xavi's position in starting eleven has been a subject of great discussion especially after the defeat in Paris. So it wasn't a huge surprise to see him returning to the starting eleven and the tried and trusted trio of Barca midfield was back with Iniesta, Busquets and Xavi forming the midfield. Pique returned to the defense and partnered Bartra in the center with Alves and Matthieu as full backs. It was pretty nice to see Matthie playing left back which simply added enough height to our defense like we had when Abidal was the Left back. The front trio remained unchanged with Neymar, Messi and Munir.

If there was a team which challenged Barca's possession style the most, it has to be Rayo. And this time around also it wasn't much different. The early exchanges saw Rayo almost matching Barca in terms of possession. Their high pressing game was becoming too much for our midfield at times. In the 6th minute Xavi played a brilliant through ball to put Munir ahead but defender Morcillo was able to clear the danger. In the 9th minute Bravo had to pull out a magnificent save to deny the host from taking the lead. In the 16th minute Messi failed to put Barca in the lead after Neymar put him through at the goal. As expected the game was heavily fought in the midfield and that meant there were no clear cut chances at either end. In the 35th Barca went ahead in a rather non-Barca way from a counter from an over the top ball. Pique played a beautiful over the top ball, which Messi brilliantly headed down and finished past the keeper. From the restart Neymar made it 2-0, yet another long ball created the goal. This time a long ball found Munir, who did brilliantly well to hold off the defender and play Neymar through on goal. Till the first goal Rayo held the high offside line brilliantly well, but in just two minutes Barca made them pay. In the 41st minute Munir again broke the offside trap but he failed to put Messi in from a promising position. In the 42nd minute another over the top ball played Munir through on goal but he failed to defeat the keeper, even though he was more guilty in not squaring the ball to Neymar who was in a better position.

Playing a high line against Barcelona has always been considered a dangerous proportion. Rayo Vallecano, inspite of all their hard work had to learn that lesson in the hard way. Those basically ended the match for them with a half yet to play. The two goal deficit was hard for Rayo to overcome but still they made a fight for it in the second half. The half started the same way like the first, with both teams trying hard to get the upperhand. In the 53rd minute Bravo had to make a routine save to deny Ray from scoring. In the 59th minute Bravo pulled out a brilliant save to prevent Rayo from opening scoring. In the 61st minute Rayo were down to ten men when Morcillo was booked for a second time on the night. In the 74th minute Rakitic who came in for Iniesta forced a save from Rayo keeper. In the 82nd minute Messi had a great chance to make it 3-0 but he agonisingly out his effort wide. In the 88th minute a quick feet Sandro won a free kick just outside the box which Xavi took but hit the upper netting from a deflection off the wall. In the 90th minute Messi flashed his shot wide from in front of the goal after a brilliant Pique lay off. Messi had a great chance to score a hat-trick today.

All About FC Barcelona is a Blog dedicated to the Most prestigous Club in the world, FC Barcelona by an ardent fan. Here I discuss about the Latest happening surrounding our Club and present my Views about the same.

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