Barcelona 0-0 Rayo Vallecano: Red card for Busquets as Xavi’s Barca start league season with goalless draw at home.
Despite a strong effort and numerous significant opportunities, the home result was disappointing.
Barcelona’s 2022–23 campaign began with a disappointing 0-0 draw at home against Rayo Vallecano in the league opener. The Blaugrana were the superior team throughout the match and had several excellent scoring opportunities, but they were unable to score any of them, and they were forced to settle for a point against an excellent Rayo team.
Thanks in large part to Rayo, who arrived at Camp Nou with a sound gameplan and stymied the Blaugrana attack with intense, physical pressing all over the field, Barça started the game slowly.
The referee permitted Rayo to continuously stop the Blaugrana’s momentum and prevent the home team from settling into a rhythm throughout the first half, allowing the visitors to kick Barça players like crazy.
But as time went on, Barça’s superiority became apparent, and they started to create openings in the Rayo defense. The attacking trio of Ousmane Dembélé, Raphinha, and Robert Lewandowski became more and more involved as Barça started to create risky opportunities as Pedri used his skills to win individual duels and put his teammates in perilous situations.
Rayo showed they were still in it when lvaro Garca went on a solo counterattack adventure and nearly scored a great goal, but Marc-André ter Stegen made a fantastic save. The Catalans had several chances to score but were unable to do so.
In order to score the winning goals on opening night, Barça had to step up their intensity in the second half after a brave and tenacious Rayo team demonstrated their worth by going 45 minutes without conceding.
The first significant opportunity for Rayo in the second half was missed by Camello, but that was the only risky effort from the guests in the latter period. Barça continued to up the ante and started to really annoy the visitors with their constant crosses and shots for the remainder of the half.
Stole Dimitrevski, the goalkeeper, made some tremendous saves, but as the Blaugrana gained momentum, Rayo’s defensive efforts grew more and more desperate and last-ditch. However, there were still no goals as the game entered its final ten minutes, and the home team’s desperation increased.
Lewandowski and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both came close to scoring with their first touches after coming off the bench, but Rayo held on to win the game in the waning seconds. Even Franck Kessie managed to score in the 88th minute, but it was correctly disallowed for offside.