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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

LaLiga: Xavi’s Barçelona suffer third home defeat

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Barcelona suffered a third home defeat in a row for the first time in a single season with a shock LaLiga loss to Rayo Vallecano.

Barcelona’s defeat leaves Real Madrid on the brink of winning the LaLiga title, with Carlo Ancelotti’s side needing one point from five games to become champions.

Read Also: Xavi Upset as Barcelona Suffer Shock Home Defeat to Cadiz

Real Madrid will be crowned 35th LaLiga champions if they defeat Espanyol on Saturday.

Following defeats by Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League quarter-finals and Cadiz in LaLiga on Monday, Barcelona have now lost three successive home games for the second time in their history.

The other occasion came at the end of the 1997-98 season and the start of the 1998-99 season under Dutch boss Louis van Gaal.

Barcelona have won just twice in their past six matches.

Xavi’s side should still secure a top-four spot but his side’s form will be a concern for the legendary Barcelona midfielder, who took over from Ronaldo Koeman in October 2021.

Koeman was sacked after Barcelona lost at Rayo and the Real Madrid side became only the fourth promoted side to complete a home and away double over Barcelona and the first since 1997-98.

Garcia’s movement allowed him to collect Isi Palazon’s superb pass ahead of Barcelona defender Sergino Dest and beat home keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen at his near post with a low shot.

Barcelona dominated possession as they searched for an equaliser, with Gavi hitting the crossbar with a rising shot in the first half.

The home side continued to press in the second half and, having thrown on attackers Memphis Depay, Luuk de Jong and Adama Traore, created opportunities against a well-organised Rayo side.

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