Barcelona’s first game of the 2022/23 La Liga season did not go as per plans as they were held to a goalless stalemate by Rayo Vallecano at Spotify Camp Nou on Saturday night.
There were lofty expectations from Xavi’s team, especially after the club were able to register all but one new signing on the eve of the game. However, Andoni Iraola’s men managed to walk away with a point from Catalonia yet again, after having beaten Barça home and away last season.
The visitors did a great job of keeping the Barcelona attackers at bay for large parts. Even when the hosts created chances, there was a lack of clinical edge on display while the opposition goalkeeper was also in inspired form.
All factors combined to prevent the Blaugrana from making a winning start to the new season. And, speaking after the game, Barcelona defender Eric Garcia acknowledged the same, while adding that the team needed to improve from hereon.
“We knew that Rayo Vallecano are a tough opponent. Their goalkeeper made three important saves. We cannot be satisfied, we needed those three points,” he said.
“We could have won. We created many chances,” Garcia said, before adding, “There is clearly room for improvement from us.”
Garcia’s fellow defender Ronald Araujo also echoed the same sentiment, stating that Barcelona are not satisfied with the outcome of the game. However, the Uruguayan insisted that there is still a long time left in the competition.
“We’re not satisfied, we needed to win. But the league is still long,” Araujo said.
The 23-year-old was asked to play as a right-back by Xavi on the night, having decided to axe Sergino Dest from the matchday squad completely. Talking about his role, Araujo said: “I’m here to help the team, no matter in what position Xavi plays me.”
Barcelona will take on Real Sociedad away from home next weekend and will need to put up a much better performance if they wish to collect all three points from the game.