It was yet another day to forget for Barcelona as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Rayo Vallecano away at Estadio de Vallecas.
A second-half own-goal from Florian Lejeune helped Xavi Hernandez & co. salvage a point after they had fallen behind in the first period thanks to a screamer from Unai Lopez.
With the likes of Girona and Real Madrid already building a decent lead at the top, this result does not bode well for Barça, even though there’s still plenty of time left in the season.
Mixed feelings for Inaki Pena
While the result was a disappointing one, it was still a big occasion for goalkeeper Inaki Pena, who made his first appearance of the season for Barcelona.
With Marc-Andre ter Stegen out due to a back issue, the 24-year-old La Masia graduate stepped in and gave a decent account of himself on the day.
Speaking to DAZN (h/t Mundo Deportivo), Pena admitted that he was happy on a personal note after the game, but was disappointed by the result.
“On a personal level I’m very happy to be able to get some minutes and as a group, it was more difficult for us in the first half,” the Spaniard remarked.
“Their goal was a pity because it was unexpected and ours also came a little late, but we turned the game towards Rayo’s goal in the second half, which is what we wanted.”
Pena went on to claim that the team fared better in the second half, but it was always going to be difficult after Rayo Vallecano had taken the lead.
“I think we played well in the second half, we knew it was a game to suffer. The goal took us by surprise, players are going down, but we knew that the game was going to go this way if they scored against us,” he stated.
With Barcelona set to face FC Porto next in the UEFA Champions League, it remains to be seen if Pena starts again or whether Ter Stegen is back fit in time for that clash.