‘A lot of work to do’: Spanish press react to Barcelona’s ‘shock’ goalless draw against Rayo Vallecano in their first LaLiga game of the season and slam a ‘BITTER debut’ for frustrated striker Robert Lewandowski
Debutant Robert Lewandowski took the brunt of the criticism from the Spanish press following Barcelona’s goalless draw at home against Rayo Vallecano in their first LaLiga game of the season.
An almost sold-out Nou Camp was expectant before the game following Barca’s summer spending spree which has seen them splash £127million on new signings.
But despite starts for new arrivals Lewandowski and Raphinha, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ansu Fati coming off the bench, the Catalan side still couldn’t score.
Barcelona debutant Robert Lewandowski struggled as his side drew 0-0 with Rayo Vallecano
Their woes were compounded in second half stoppage time as Sergio Busquets was sent off after elbowing Radamel Falcao in the face.
It was a frustrating night for Lewandowski in particular, as he struggled to get involved in the game and failed to score on the opening day of a season for the first time in eight years.
The Polish striker was the man on the front and back pages of several Spanish newspapers on Sunday morning, including Mundo Deportivo, who went with the headline ‘Bitter debut’.
Mundo Deportivo described Lewandowski’s first LaLiga appearance as a ‘bitter debut’
Marca and AS attacked the whole Barca team with the headlines ‘Howler’ and ‘Shock result’
Other publications decided to attack the Barca team as a whole, with Marca simply going with the headline ‘Howler’.
AS went with ‘Shock result’ and Catalan paper L’Esportiu say that Xavi’s side have ‘A lot of work to do’.
Sport were slightly more sympathetic, going with the headline ‘This is only the beginning’, suggesting that Barca have plenty of time to make amends.
L’Esportiu say that Xavi’s side have ‘A lot of work to do’ but Sport (right) were more sympathetic
After the game, Xavi admitted that his team struggled to deal with the pressure but called for patience.
‘Due to expectations, the team has been tense, more nervous than normal,’ the Barca boss said. ‘I told them that the pressure is on me now.
‘It was a difficult game. Rayo defended very well and the goalkeeper had a great level. It was difficult for us but we had chances to score at least one goal,’ he said.
Xavi admitted his side struggled with the pressure at the Nou Camp and called for patience
‘With the passing of the minutes, the tiredness, the time-wasting… it became more complicated for us.
‘It’s a pity because we wanted to show people that we were on the right track. We wanted to give people back the enthusiasm they have put into us.
‘We ask for patience. There is time. We must continue to believe in this game model because it is the right one for success.’