Barcelona ended the first league match of the season goalless draw by Rayo Vallecano on Saturday. Barcelona kicked off the new LaLiga season in disappointing fashion. Xavi Hernandez’s side huffed and puffed. But they could not find away past their stubborn visitors, who twice beat Barça last season.
Chances came and went, and Barça had two goals ruled out for offside. But Stole Dimitrievski in the Rayo goal would not be beaten by the shots of Barcelona. Furthermore, Sergio Busquets received a red card late on. Even eight minutes of added time weren’t enough for the Catalans to find a winner to satisfy the 81,000 crowd at Camp Nou.
Xavi handed debuts to Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Andreas Christensen. All of them got their registration to La LIga on Friday. Raphinha dragged one chance wide and sent another off target with Ousmane Dembele the creator, while Lewandowski had a goal ruled out for offside.
Dimitrievski blocked Dembele’s shot and Pedri fired wide from distance before Lewandowski headed just over. It was nearly Rayo who led at the break, though, only for Marc-Andre ter Stegen to make a fine save from Alvaro Garcia.
Rayo were in again just after the break but Ter Stegen did enough to force Camello wide and the chance past.
Xavi moved on the hour mark, introducing Frenkie de Jong, Sergi Roberto and Ansu Fati and Barcelona did improve.
Busquets had a chance saved, Lewandowski came close after good work from De Jong and Franck Kessie wasted a Dembele pullback.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang then had a shot cleared off the line, Lewandowski fired the rebound wide and, minutes later, Kessie had a goal disallowed because of an offside against Ansu Fati.
Busquets was then sent off for a second booking and Rayo had their own goal chalked for offside late on as Barça were forced to settle for a point.