BREAKING: Barcelona sack Ronald Koeman after loss at Rayo Vallecano

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Ronald Koeman
Ronald Koeman has been sacked by Barcelona after three straight losses

Ronald Koeman has been relieved of his duties as first-team coach at Barcelona.

The 58-year-old Dutchman was sacked after a 1-0 away defeat at Rayo Vallecano, forcing Barca to ninth in La Liga.

There was an emergency board meeting after the game chaired by Barca President, Joan Laporta.

The spanish club announced this on Wednesday night vis its Twitter handle: “FC Barcelona has relieved Ronald Koeman of his duties as first team coach.”

It is the first time since September 1987 that Barca have lost three away games in a row without scoring – a run that saw English manager Terry Venables sacked.

Earlier on, Memphis Depay missed a penalty as Barca lost at Rayo Vallecano.

Barca, defeated 2-1 at home to Real Madrid on Sunday, are ninth in La Liga.

Oscar Trejo won the ball from Sergio Busquets and fed veteran striker Radamel Falcao, who finished via the inside of the post for the only goal.

The visitors won a penalty when Oscar Valentin fouled Depay but his spot-kick was well saved by Stole Dimitrievski, who also smothered the rebound well.

“It [Barcelona’s league position] says we’re not well,” said Barca boss Koeman.

“The team has lost balance in the squad, lost very effective players, which shows. In recent years other clubs have strengthened every season and we haven’t, which also shows.”

Asked if the defeat could affect his future, he said: “I don’t know.”

Koeman – whose car was surrounded by angry fans after losing El Clasico – admitted before this game his side “cannot afford back-to-back losses”.

Trejo, perhaps sensing Barcelona’s fragile mental state, tried to score from the halfway line in the third minute but his shot was saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Barca were uninspired yet again, with Depay’s penalty their only shot on target.

Luuk de Jong’s chip, Sergio Aguero’s header and Gavi’s scuffed shot were off target late on.

This is their fifth defeat of the season in all competitions and they sit six points behind four-way leaders Real Madrid, Sevilla, Real Betis and Real Sociedad.

Real drew 0-0 with Osasuna in Wednesday’s late game.

Rayo – who have won all five home games this season – rise to fifth, above city rivals and champions Atletico Madrid.