Spanish La Liga
Rayo VallecanoRayo Vallecano0BarcelonaBarcelona2

Rayo Vallecano 0-2 Barcelona

By Jonathan JurejkoBBC Sport
Lionel Messi of Barcelona
Lionel Messi scored his 249th league goal for Barcelona

Lionel Messi and Neymar scored within 78 seconds of each other to ensure Barcelona retained top spot in La Liga with a routine win at Rayo Vallecano.

Argentina captain Messi, 27, lobbed in the opener to move within two goals of the Spanish league goalscoring record.

Barca's lead was doubled when Brazil forward Neymar, 22, drilled a low first-time shot into the bottom corner.

Rayo had two men sent off after half-time as Barca stayed two points clear of second-placed Valencia.

Match facts
Lionel Messi has scored 10 goals in his seven La Liga appearances against Rayo Vallecano.Neymar has scored seven goals in La Liga 2014-15, only two fewer than he managed in the whole of last season (26 matches).
Barca have won all seven matches against Rayo since they were promoted to La Liga in 2011, scoring 31 and conceding once.Barca keeper Claudio Bravo beat Nou Camp predecessor Pedro Maria Artola's record of going 560 minutes without conceding in 1977-78.

Valencia had moved above the Catalan club earlier on Saturday with an eye-catching 3-1 home win against champions Atletico Madrid.

But Barca produced a confident display, albeit against a poor Rayo side, to reassume control.

Luis Enrique's team were beaten for the first time this season when they lost 3-2 at Champions League opponents Paris St-Germain on Tuesday.

The French champions made Barca's previously impregnable defence look vulnerable and Madrid-based Rayo tried to unsettle them in the early stages with high-tempo pressing.

But Barca coped with the pressure before tearing apart Rayo's dangerously high defensive line with two hopeful long balls.

Centre-back Gerard Pique's punt found Messi, who controlled the ball with his head before lifting it over goalkeeper Tono.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Neymar
Barcelona's Neymar and Lionel Messi have now scored 13 La Liga goals between them this season

It was his 249th league goal for Barcelona, putting him two behind Athletic Bilbao legend Telmo Zarra, who scored 251 in the 1940s and 1950s.

And within seconds of Messi's opener, Neymar put the game beyond mid-table Rayo.

Another long ball caught out the home defence, which had conceded 10 goals in their previous six matches, allowing teenage forward Munir to slip in Neymar for his eighth strike of the season.

Messi was a constant menace as Barca comfortably controlled the match after the break but wasted a host of chances when well placed.

Rayo finished with nine men after defender Jorge Morcillo was sent off on the hour for his second bookable offence and substitute Javier Aquino followed suit in injury-time.

But it did not affect the scoreline as Barca, last season's runners-up, set a new La Liga record by keeping a clean sheet for the seventh successive game.

Line-ups

Rayo Vallecano

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 25Rodríguez Martínez
  • 2Román Triguero
  • 15BaBooked at 18minsSubstituted forContreiras Gonçalvesat 45'minutes
  • 20MorcilloBooked at 60mins
  • 14Insúa
  • 8Baena
  • 10TrashorrasBooked at 33minsSubstituted forSánchez Ruizat 74'minutes
  • 22Pereira CarneiroSubstituted forAquinoat 45'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 23Bueno
  • 12Kakuta
  • 19Baptistao

Substitutes

  • 1Cobeño
  • 6Fatau
  • 9Contreiras Gonçalves
  • 11Pereira
  • 16Aquino
  • 17Marín Ruiz
  • 21Sánchez Ruiz

Barcelona

Formation 4-3-3

  • 13Bravo
  • 22Alves da Silva
  • 3PiquéBooked at 72mins
  • 15Bartra
  • 24Mathieu
  • 6HernándezBooked at 10mins
  • 5Busquets
  • 8IniestaSubstituted forRakiticat 69'minutes
  • 31El HaddadiSubstituted forPedroat 59'minutes
  • 10Messi
  • 11NeymarSubstituted forRamírezat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 4Rakitic
  • 7Pedro
  • 14Mascherano
  • 18Alba
  • 21Correia
  • 29Ramírez
Referee:
Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
Attendance:
14,070

Match Stats

Home TeamRayo VallecanoAway TeamBarcelona
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home14
Away18
Shots on Target
Home4
Away7
Corners
Home6
Away7
Fouls
Home19
Away7

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Rayo Vallecano 0, Barcelona 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Rayo Vallecano 0, Barcelona 2.

  3. Dismissal

    Second yellow card to Javier Aquino (Rayo Vallecano) for a bad foul.

  4. Post update

    Sergio Busquets (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Javier Aquino (Rayo Vallecano).

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Gerard Piqué.

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sergio Busquets.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Leo Baptistao.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Xavi (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  10. Post update

    Sandro Ramírez (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Tito (Rayo Vallecano).

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Alberto Bueno (Rayo Vallecano) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Gaël Kakuta.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Pedro (Barcelona).

  14. Post update

    Javier Aquino (Rayo Vallecano) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Rayo Vallecano. Conceded by Gerard Piqué.

  16. Post update

    Offside, Rayo Vallecano. Gaël Kakuta tries a through ball, but Manucho is caught offside.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Emiliano Insúa (Rayo Vallecano) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Raúl Baena.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Javier Aquino (Rayo Vallecano) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Toño.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Xavi.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Sandro Ramírez (Barcelona) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is blocked. Assisted by Ivan Rakitic.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 4th October 2014

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