Barcelona suffered a shock loss to lowly Almeria as the leaders’ 13-game unbeaten run in LaLiga came to a grinding halt in a 1-0 reverse.
El Bilal Toure’s first-half strike proved the difference, as Luis Suarez’s cross was looped in and off the crossbar at the Power Horse Stadium on Sunday.
After Thursday’s Europa League exit against Manchester United, Xavi’s side suffered a double defeat for the first time this season and missed out on a chance to drop out of the top 10.
But Ruby will commemorate his team’s famous victories with the reverse number.
Barca were determined to avoid the consequences of their midweek defeat in Europe and tried to take control of the ball from the first kick.
However, they failed to capitalize on their early chances and Suarez played a long ball down the right before Toure headed home a pass in the 24th minute.
In the rest of the half, the visiting team tried to score an equalizing goal and they went to the break as if they had no answer.
To deal with the pressure, Barca tried to apply the pressure again after the second half, limiting the host to defensive duties and a small share of the ball.
However, Robert Lewandowski failed to conjure up the magic moment with two headers in the final 15 minutes that saved them from a spectacular defeat.
Barcelona player ratings (4-3-3)
GK: Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 6/10 – Could scarcely have done anything about the venemous effort that whizzed past him but smothered set-piece efforts to keep the score down elsewhere.
RB: Sergi Roberto – 3/10 – Betrayed his natural position as a midfielder by leaving far too much space between himself and his nearest centre-back for the opening goal.
CB: Andreas Christensen – 3/10 – Bullied and buffeted around by Toure as the absence of Ronald Araujo’s superior anticipation and strength was felt.
CB: Eric Garcia – 3/10 – Underwhelming on the ball and unconvincing off it.
LB: Jordi Alba – 6/10 – Regularly broke into that familiar Billy Whizz running style with his head tipped back and arms pumping as Alba provided all of Barcelona’s width down the left.
CM: Franck Kessie – 5/10 – Playing the flexible advanced midfield role vacated by the injured Pedri, Kessie struggled to exert an influence on proceedings before getting hooked at half-time.
CM: Sergio Busquets – 4/10 – So often hailed as the master of a tactical foul, Busquets was forced into a raft of mistimed tackles which were hardly deliberate.
CM: Frenkie de Jong – 5/10 – Lubricated Barcelona’s build-up by dropping alongside Busquets.
RW: Ferran Torres – 4/10 – An anonymous outing deflated a lot of the promise built from his display against Cadiz last weekend.
ST: Robert Lewandowski – 4/10 – Repeatedly darted behind Almeria’s backline but either wasn’t picked out or failed to control the balls played to him.
LW: Gavi – 5/10 – Buzzed around the top of the pitch without much consequence before he was more involved following the half-time reshuffle.
Raphinha (46′ for Kessie) – 4/10 – Couldn’t pick his way through Almeria’s blockade.
Ronald Araujo (67′ for Garcia) – 6/10
Marcos Alonso (67′ for Alba) – 5/10
Angel Alarcon (76′ for Busquets) – N/A
Pablo Torre (76′ for Roberto) – N/A
Xavi Hernandez – 4/10 – Could hardly be accused of watching on passively, frantically altering Barcelona’s shape on numerous occasions – though without the desired effect.