BARCELONA (Reuters) – Barcelona stumbled to a 1-1 draw at home to Alaves on Saturday in their first match since the sacking of coach Ronald Koeman.
Barca’s third consecutive LaLiga game without a win left them ninth in the standings, eight points behind leaders Real Madrid.
After a cagey first half, Dutch forward Memphis Depay put Barcelona ahead four minutes after the interval with a fine strike from outside the penalty area.
The lead lasted only three minutes, however, as Alaves winger Luis Rioja conjured up an excellent equaliser, playing a neat one-two with Joselu before rounding Barca keeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen to score.
Barcelona suffered another setback when experienced striker Sergio Aguero was forced off late in the first half due to injury ahead of their Champions League clash at Dynamo Kyiv on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Fernando Kallas, editing by Ed Osmond)