First Division - Day 32

Barcelona 3 - Rayo Vallecano 0

Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Gabri, Puyol, Frank De Boer, Sorín; Overmars, Cocu (Mendieta 63'), Riquelme (Gerard 71'), Luis Enrique (Rochemback 80'); Saviola, Kluivert. 4-4-2.
Rayo: Segura; Mauro (Carlos 89'), Quevedo, Onopko, Dorado; Iriney, Helder; Mora (Luis Cembranos 80'), Peragón, Michel; Bolic (Bolo 80'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Barcelona: Puyol, Luis Enrique for Andersson, Motta / Rayo: Onopko, Dorado, Helder for De Quintana, Graff, Camuñas.

1-0. 68. Luis Enrique. Took return pass from Kluivert and hit volley past Segura.
2-0. 76. Overmars. Received pass from Kluivert and shot through keeper's legs.
3-0. 91. Saviola. Took Mendieta pass and ran on to shoot in off post.

Barcelona moved up to eighth position, only a point away from the UEFA spots, after a 3-0 win against bottom club Rayo Vallecano. It was a flattering result though, with the Catalan club being matched by their opponents right up until the last twenty minutes or so when they scored all their goals. The return of Luis Enrique to the side was to prove the key to the victory, and the Spanish international was active right from the start, setting up Kluivert for him to shoot way off target and then getting closed down when presented with a chance himself. Rayo had the best chance of the first half though, Michel crashing a free kick against the post, and seeing the ball run in front of goal with nobody there to finish off.

Both sides had penalty appeals turned down after the break, the first on Kluivert and the second, perhaps clearer, when Gabri tripped Peragón, the Rayo forward getting booked for exaggerating his fall. It was end to end stuff, Kluivert shot wide again and Michel tested Víctor Valdés, but midway through the half Barça finally broke through, Luis Enrique taking a return pass from Kluivert to volley an angled shot past Segura. Eight minutes later it was the much criticised Kluivert again who found Overmars for him to shoot through the legs of Segura, and with the game coming to a close Saviola burst through to fire in a third off the post. It was a final swansong for stand in president Enric Reyna, who is expected to call elections for his successor in tomorrow's members meeting.