First Division - Day 13

Rayo Vallecano 1 - Barcelona 0

Rayo: Etxeberria; Mauro, De Quintana, Mainz, Graff; Julio Alvarez (Peragón 75'), Onopko, Azkoitia, Michel; Bolic (Camuñas 91'), Bolo (Mora 73'). 4-4-2.
Barcelona: Bonano; Puyol, Gabri, Frank De Boer, Fernando Navarro; Rochemback (Gerard 81'), Xavi, Cocu; Riquelme; Saviola (Dani 66'), Kluivert. 4-3-1-2.

Team changes: Rayo: Mario, Mainz, Azkoitia, Bolo for Mauro, Pablo Sanz, Quevedo, Peragón / Barcelona: Frank De Boer, Rochemback for Reiziger, Motta.

1-0. 65. Azkoitia. Ran on to Bolo headed pass to shoot past Bonano.

The shock of the day was at Vallecas, where Rayo Vallecano won their first game in seven after defeating Barcelona 1-0. Fernando Vázquez would have been out of a job this week if ex goalkeeper Julen Lopetegui (now training keepers for the national squad) had not turned down an offer for his position, and the Rayo manager, serving out a two match ban, sat nervously watching his side from the stands. His opposite number Louis Van Gaal was also under pressure though after a string of bad results in the league, and he pulled out yet another new formation, with Gabri playing out of position in the centre of defence and Cocu on the left of midfield given the one match bans for Motta and Overmars.

Barça had the best of the first half, with Etxeberría tipping a Kluivert strike over the bar and then stopping a bouncing Riquelme shot with his chest, and Kluivert should have scored when he rounded the keeper but took the ball too far. However the ideas ran out, and Azkoitia ran through as Bolo headed on a long clearance from Etxeberría to round De Boer and force the ball past Bonano. Barça were limited to long shots which did not trouble Etxeberría, and they for the fifth time this season they fell to a disappointing away defeat. The result took Rayo out of the relegation spots up to seventeenth, and left Van Gaal's side with their worst start to the season since 1941, having only picked up one point now in their last four games.