Real Valladolid climbed out of the relegation zone with a 3-1 win over champions Barcelona on Tuesday.
Andreas Christensen’s opening goal capped a bad night for Xavi’s side, who went 2–0 down inside 20 minutes through a Kyle Larrin penalty.
Gonzalo Plata added a third after the break, perhaps the biggest surprise of the La Liga season and Robert Lewandowski’s late goal was by no means sure.
Valladolid came out like a possessed side and they took the lead in only 90 seconds. Darwin Match’s dangerous cross was going right for the unmarked Larin and Christensen’s desperate efforts to reduce the danger saw the Dane clear the ball in his own hand.
Valladolid goalkeeper Jordi Masip was tested in the 13th minute, Rafinha’s low drive was powerful but too simple for the former Barcelona stopper.
Seven minutes later Valladolid doubled their lead. Marc-Andre ter Stegen went wide of his goal and caused genuine panic among the Barcelona defence, and Eric García got down to prevent Plata from firing into an open net, with Larrin able to put some distance between the two. threw the ensuing penalty at home. Party.
Masip had to be alert to deny Rafinha again on the half-hour mark, and the Valladolid stopper saved even better to prevent Christensen from atoning for his earlier goal with a fierce header from a corner.
Barcelona had close to 70% of possession in the first half, but were undoubtedly uncomfortable before the interval, with the Blaugrana’s midfield struggling.
Xavi made a few changes on the break, including subbing off goalkeeper Ter Stegen, but it didn’t quite convert and Valladolid almost had a third when Plata’s cross hit the back of the post.
Despite Barcelona’s dominance on the statistics sheet, Valladolid were the most dangerous on the pitch and the hosts still had the ball in the back of the net with 18 minutes to go when Plata tapped home a cross from Larin. A nervy VAR check followed but the goal was eventually given.
There should have been an immediate fourth as Lucas Rojas broke on goal and squared Iñaki Peña, but he could only watch as the ball agonizingly bounced back off the post.
However, it was Barcelona who added the fourth goal of the game. With seven minutes to go, Frankie de Jong played through Lewandowski, who rounded Masip and found the back of the net.
Barcelona continued to push for more goals but never looked like scoring and instead had to settle for a rather disappointing defeat that they could have no complaints about.
GK: Jordi Masip (7); RB: Ivan Fresneda (7); CB: Joaquin Fernandez (N/A); CB: Javi Sanchez (7); LB: Lucas Olaza (6); DM: Roque Mesa (7); DM: Alvaro Aguado (8); RW: Gonzalo Plata (8); AM: Oscar Plano (7); LW: Darwin Matchbox (6); scheduled tribe: Kyle Larrin (8)
substitute: David Torres (6), Monchu (6), Sergio Escudero (7), Kik Perez (6), Lucas Rosa (6)
GK: Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 4/10 – It was Ter Stegen’s poor decision in haste that led to the second goal. A moment of insanity before being replaced at the break after her clean sheet is ruined.
RB: Sergi Roberto – 2/10 – Caught out straight in the first goal trick and was completely lost for the rest of the first half. An absolute rocket of a volley with his face blocked.
CB: Andreas Christensen – 3/10 – Larin had to dive to prevent him from scoring and unfortunately put the ball into his own net. It was a great header though.
CB: Marcos Alonso – 2/10 – Intimidated by Larin throughout and never looked comfortable in or out of possession. Shocking save for the third goal.
LB: Alejandro Balde – 4/10 – Didn’t offer enough at either end of the pitch.
DM: Eric Garcia – 1/10 – Awarded a penalty in a nerve-wracking display. Neither offered the passing skills needed to play in midfield. Shifted to right-back for the second half and played Larin onside for the third goal.
CM: Frankie de Jong – 6/10 – García had to drop deeper than planned to make up for mistakes and did his best to keep his involvement in the attack as well. A beautiful assist for Lewandowski’s late goal.
CM: Gavi – 2/10 – Didn’t do anything bad because he didn’t really do anything. Struggled to really get into the game and spent more time complaining than anything else.
RW: Rafinha – 5/10 – Tried his best to spearhead the attack with lots of shots which saw a good save from Masip. Vinicius Jr. was booked for taking off his shirt to reveal a message of support.
ST: Robert Lewandowski – 5/10 – The ball didn’t get much touch due to Barcelona’s midfield struggles, but the late goal was well taken.
LW: Pablo Toure – 5/10 – Nice and lively on the left side of Barcelona. One can be proud of their performance.
Inca Pena (46′ for Ter Stegen) – 4/10
Frank Casey (46′ for Roberto) – 4/10
Ferran Torres (63′ for Rafinha) – 4/10
Ousmane Dembele (63′ for Toure) – 5/10
Anu Fati (76′ for Gavi) – 5/10
Not used Sub: Tenas, Alba, Busquets, Casado,
Xavi – 2/10 – Having confirmed the title has clearly been a huge step back. Xavi set up his team poorly and all their efforts to counter proved in vain.