Barcelona's possession domination streak ended

The Catalans enjoyed just 45 percent of the ball during their 4-0 win over Rayo Vallecano, ending an incredible 316 match streak.

Updated: September 22, 2013 09:22 IST
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Madrid: Spanish champions Barcelona had less possession than their opponents for the first time in over five years on Saturday during their 4-0 win over Rayo Vallecano.

Despite their significant advantage in the scoreline, the Catalans enjoyed just 45 percent of the ball ending an incredible 316 match streak dating back to their 4-1 defeat to Real Madrid in May 2008.

The statistic is further evidence of how new Barca boss Gerardo Martino is looking for his side to play with more variation than they have in the past five years under Pep Guardiola and Tito Vilanova.

Defender Dani Alves claimed after the 4-0 win over Ajax in midweek that Barca are in a "transitionary period" as they adjust to Martino's ideas.

And Gerard Pique also conceded in a recent interview with Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport that they had become obsessed with their short-passing style in recent years.

However, Pedro Rodriguez, who scored three of Barca's four goals at Vallecas on Saturday, believes the most important thing is that Barca keep winning.

"We are continuing with our ideals of how to play. We are pressing high and maybe playing a bit more direct, but I think that we are still achieving good results," he told Gol TV.

Despite struggling at times during Martino's two month spell in charge, Barca are currently top of La Liga having won all five of their league games so far this season.

They also regained the Spanish Super Cup with an away goals victory over Atletico Madrid and made a winning start to their Champions League campaign with the thrashing of Ajax on Wednesday.

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  • Cesc Fàbregas
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