Alvaro Garcia's goal renders Rayo Vallecano toothless Barcelona loses for the third time

Xavi seemed to be reaping the rewards of his early managerial tenure as Barcelona roared through February and March. Weeks later, it's all unravelled.

Rayo Vallecano won 1-0 thanks to Alvaro Garcia's early goal, leaving Barcelona without a Champions League place.

The heroic Rayo defending and goalkeeping kept the hosts at bay for much of the match.

But neither the referee nor VAR intervened when Alejandro Catena ran over Gavi in the penalty area early in stoppage time.

The Barcelona attacking trio of Ferran Torres, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Ousmane Dembele were toothless and unable to inspire the hosts to victory.

Eintracht Frankfurt, Cadiz, and Rayo Vallecano have all beaten Barcelona in consecutive home games since 2003.

Xavi has a lot of soul-searching to do without Pedri, Sergi Roberto, and Gerard Pique as they try to qualify for next year's Champions League.

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