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Lewandowski and Raphinha Miss in Barcelona’s 0-0 Draw With Rayo

FC Barcelona couldn’t do any better than a 0-0 draw against Rayo Vallecano in the opening game of the 2022–2023 La Liga season at the Camp Nou, despite all of the financial levers, budgetary gymnastics, and selling off of its media properties.

Because of the financial difficulties the club has been experiencing this summer, four of its five new acquisitions did not become officially available for selection until the final twenty-four hours before the start of the season.

This was because the players had only recently been registered. However, despite having Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Andreas Christensen, and Franck Kessie on their team, they were unable to discover a means to overcome the obstacle. Since the beginning of the previous campaign, Barcelona has now faced Rayo in three consecutive matches in which they have been unable to score.

Not only did Rayo make it difficult for Barcelona to score, but they also enjoyed the majority of the game’s finest scoring opportunities.

Rayo thought they had scored the game-winning goal in the final minute, but Radamel Falcao had been offside earlier in the play, so the goal was disallowed.

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen was forced to make a spectacular save in the first half on a point-blank shot. It was one of three goals that were disallowed because of offsides.

Lewandowski was the most sought-after player on the transfer market this summer, and Barcelona hoped that he would assist in resolving encounters like these against opponents who are only interested in defending and countering. On the other hand, the Polish international didn’t receive a lot of good looks.

When he was being pushed around on a first-half set piece in front of the referee, he did not receive a penalty call either, which was disappointing. In the second half, he had a few more opportunities, but he was unable to hit the target each time.

Xavi Hernandez did not want to begin a season in which the objective is to mount a title challenge and unseat Real Madrid as champions by losing points at home.

This was not the way that Hernandez had hoped the season would begin. In many respects, the difficulties and the absence of a solution felt exactly the same as they did throughout the previous season.

In stoppage time, Rayo’s captain Sergio Busquets was shown a second yellow card for a high arm to the face of Rayo’s Falcao, which led to his dismissal from the game. This added insult to injury.

When Barcelona play their next game in the La Liga tournament, they will have to travel to face a Real Sociedad team that finished in sixth place the previous season. This will not be an easy match for Barcelona to win.


Why did things not work out for Barcelona?

It was intentional for Barcelona to immediately involve their wingers in the game because those players are supposed to be the ones to open up scoring chances for Robert Lewandowski.

Barca was successful in doing so. However, Rafinha and Ousmane Dembele did not have nearly the same level of success as they did throughout certain portions of the preseason.

The two needed to demonstrate greater improvisation, originality, and sharpness for Barcelona. However, the wingers’ movements seemed deliberate, meandering, and at times conservative, and their passing was either predictable, inaccurate, or lacking in inventiveness.

Rayo’s low defensive block did have a role to play, but the wingers’ movements felt deliberate, meandering, and at times conservative. In addition to this, they had a difficult time locating Lewandowski.

The fact that Xavi started Raphinha on the right side of the field and Dembele on the left side of the field for the first half of the contest was not helpful.

When they switched flanks to positions that were more natural to them, Dembele immediately appeared to be more comfortable and engaged in the game.

Because of this, Lewandowski is no longer playing in the Bundesliga.

The man who won the FIFA Player of the Year award last year is going to have to make some adaptations to his style of play in Spain since the opponents there use different strategies, which presents a new set of obstacles.

Despite Bayern Munich’s dominance in Germany, the team had a little bit more space to play in, and the defenders were not nearly as tight as some of the defending that Lewandowski encountered when playing against Rayo.

Lewandowski was able to get on the end of crosses into the box for Germany, but things were a lot more difficult when they played Rayo.

There were portions of the game in which you completely forgot that he was even playing. And there are still many more of these matches scheduled to take place in the future.

Although Lewandowski showed his class on a goal he scored by deftly chipping the ball over the keeper, the pass that led to the goal was made with him out of position.

Aside from that, there was not much to work with throughout the first half an hour. He made an effort to make the best of a poor Raphinha cross in the first half, and then he had a chance to be the hero with six minutes remaining, but he could not contort his body quickly enough to take advantage of a rebound that allowed by the Rayo goalkeeper. He missed the opportunity.

Frenkie De Jong Can Assist Barcelona

When he came off the bench to play midfield for Barcelona, the Dutch all-around midfielder provided a boost for the team.

Throughout the match, Barcelona were lacking clear ideas and nice touches in and around the box, but he had both of those things in abundance.

In retrospect, it is clear that he would have been a more effective choice than Gavi, who was unable to make a significant contribution to the game.

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The impact that De Jong has on the game could cause Barcelona to reevaluate its goals for the player in the final two weeks of the summer transfer market.

Some clubs have expressed an interest in purchasing him, but Barcelona is confident that they can get the most out of his exceptional skills by keeping him.

Although Barcelona may come to regret letting him go, the club’s current financial situation may be what ultimately drives their choice.

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