Player ratings as woeful Blaugrana slump to defeat

Real Valladolid climbed out of the relegation zone with a shock 3-1 victory over champions Barcelona on Tuesday.

Andreas Christensen’s early own goal set the tempo for a miserable night for Xavi’s side, who were 2-0 down inside 20 minutes thanks to Cyle Larin’s penalty.

Gonzalo Plata added a third after the break, capping off perhaps the biggest surprise of the La Liga season and ensuring Robert Lewandowski’s late goal meant nothing.

Valladolid came out like a side possessed and they took the lead just 90 seconds in. Darwin Machis’ dangerous cross was heading right for the unmarked Larin and Christensen’s desperate attempts to alleviate the danger saw the Dane head the ball into his own neat.

It wasn’t until the 13th minute that Valladolid goalkeeper Jordi Masip was tested, Raphinha’s low drive was powerful but simple enough for the former Barcelona stopper.

Seven minutes later and Valladolid doubled their lead. Marc-Andre ter Stegen came flying out of his goal and created real panic among the Barcelona defence, and after Eric Garcia scythed down Plata to stop him from firing into an open net, Larin thumped home the ensuing penalty to create some distance between the two sides.

Masip had to be alert to deny Raphinha again on the half-hour mark, and the Valladolid stopper made an even better save to stop Christensen from atoning for his earlier own goal with a fierce header from a corner.

Barcelona had close to 70% possession in the first half but were undoubtedly uncomfortable before the interval, with the Blaugrana’s midfield noticeably struggling.

Xavi made some changes at the break, including removing goalkeeper Ter Stegen, but it didn’t change a whole lot and Valladolid nearly had a third when Plata’s cross came crashing back off the post.

Despite Barcelona’s dominance on the stats sheet, Valladolid were the most dangerous on the pitch and the hosts had the ball in the back of the net yet again 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 Rosa burst through on goal and chipped Inaki Pena, but he could only watch as the ball agonisingly bounced back off the post.

However, it was Barcelona who added the game’s fourth goal. With seven minutes to go, Frenkie 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 bitterly disappointing defeat about which they could have no complaints.

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 Machis (6); ST: Cyle Larin (8)

Substitutes: David Torres (6), Monchu (6), Sergio Escudero (7), Kike Perez (6), Lucas Rosa (6)

GK: Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 4/10 – It was Ter Stegen’s poor decision to rush out that led to the second goal. A moment of madness before being replaced at the break after his clean sheet was ruined.

RB: Sergi Roberto – 2/10 – Caught out straight away in the move for the first goal and looked completely lost for the rest of the first half. Blocked an absolute rocket of a volley with his face.

CB: Andreas Christensen – 3/10 – Had to dive to stop Larin from scoring and unfortunately put the ball into his own net. Was a thumping header though.

CB: Marcos Alonso – 2/10 – Bullied by Larin throughout and never looked comfortable in or out of possession. Shocking defending for the third goal.

LB: Alejandro Balde – 4/10 – Didn’t offer enough at either end of the pitch.

DM: Eric Garcia – 1/10 – Gave away the penalty in a performance that was full of nerves. Didn’t offer the passing needed to play in midfield either. Shifted to right-back for the second half and played Larin onside for the third goal.

CM: Frenkie de Jong – 6/10 – Had to drop deeper than planned to mop up Garcia’s mistakes and tried his hardest to keep up his involvement in attack as well. A lovely assist for Lewandowski’s late goal.

CM: Gavi – 2/10 – Didn’t do anything bad because he didn’t really do anything. Really struggled to get involved in the game and spent more time complaining than anything else.

RW: Raphinha – 5/10 – Did his best to carry the attack with plenty of shots which drew good saves from Masip. Booked for taking off his shirt to reveal a message of support to Vinicius Junior.

ST: Robert Lewandowski – 5/10 – Didn’t get many touches of the ball because of Barcelona’s midfield struggles, but took his late goal well.

LW: Pablo Torre – 5/10 – Nice and lively down Barcelona’s left. Can be proud of his showing.


Inaki Pena (46′ for Ter Stegen) – 4/10

Franck Kessie (46′ for Roberto) – 4/10

Ferran Torres (63′ for Raphinha) – 4/10

Ousmane Dembele (63′ for Torre) – 5/10

Ansu Fati (76′ for Gavi) – 5/10

Subs not used: Tenas, Alba, Busquets, Casado,


Xavi – 2/10 – There’s obviously been a major step back since the title was confirmed. Xavi set his team up poorly and all his attempts to combat that proved futile.

Player of the match – Cyle Larin (Real Valladolid)

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