Another flat Barcelona display was punished on Wednesday as Rayo Vallecano claimed a shock 2-1 win in Vallecas.
Barcelona missed the chance to go 14 points clear at the top of LaLiga as goals from Alvaro Garcia and Fran Garcia fired Rayo Vallecano to a 2-1 win over the below-par leaders.
Real Madrid’s 4-2 defeat at Girona on Tuesday gave Barca the chance to push further at the summit, but Xavi’s men started slowly and soon found themselves behind Alvaro Garcia’s low drive.
Barca’s woes were compounded when Fran Garcia broke away to finish after the break, and although Robert Lewandowski halved the deficit late on, the visitors could not find an equaliser.
Barca boast an eleven-point lead over Madrid and still look destined to win their first league title since 2019, but the Catalan giants have dropped points in three of their last four games after another solid performance.
The first big chance fell to Ray in the 17th minute, Sergio Camello breaking through after Pedri was caught in possession but Marc-Andre ter Stegen denied him when one-on-one.
Ter Stegen failed to save Barca two minutes later, Alvaro Garcia drilling into the bottom right corner after being found by Camello on the left side of the area.
Stole Dimitrievski preserved Ray’s lead by smothering Lewandowski’s deflected effort and the visitors escaped again at half-time as a VAR review upheld an on-field decision to disallow the striker’s left-footed finish for offside.
Barca were 2-0 down seven minutes after the restart when Fran Garcia – who will rejoin former club Real Madrid at the end of the season – raced calmly wide under Ter Stegen.
Lewandowski produced a nervy finish when he volleyed into the top-right corner after Franck Kessie’s shot deflected into his path, but Rayo held on to claim a surprise victory.