Soccer-Barcelona secure second place in LaLiga with win over Rayo


Soccer Football - LaLiga - FC Barcelona v Rayo Vallecano - Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys, Barcelona, Spain - May 19, 2024 FC Barcelona's Pedri scores their third goal REUTERS/Albert Gea

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona beat Rayo Vallecano 3-0 in their final home game of the season on Sunday to secure second place in LaLiga thanks to an early goal from Robert Lewandowski and a quick-fire double from Pedri.

The result moved Barcelona to 82 points, four points above Girona, who won 3-1 away at Valencia. Champions Real Madrid are 12 points above Barcelona with one more round of games left.

Barcelona took the lead in the third minute when Lamine Yamal cut in from the right wing and chipped the ball to Lewandowski, who expertly controlled the pass with his chest and volleyed home.

Although Rayo had their chances to level, Barcelona doubled their lead with some magical footwork from Joao Felix who saw his shot saved but Pedri managed to score from the rebound to give the home side a two-goal cushion.

Barely three minutes later, Pedri spotted a gap in Rayo's high defensive line and he was put through on goal with a long ball from centre back Ronald Araujo, allowing the 21-year-old to fire home and double his goal tally for the season.

Barcelona will finish their season away at Sevilla next weekend while Rayo, who are 16th, host Athletic Bilbao.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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