Barcelona – Rayo Vallecano: Xavi’s Shiny New Toys Frustrated By Resistant Rayo (0-0)
Despite four of Barcelona’s summer signings making appearances against Rayo Vallecano, Xavi’s side could only take a single point from the match after a defensive masterclass from Andoni Iraola’s men. The play from Barcelona was promising, but the Catalans could not find the back of the net from their abundance of chances.
Tactical analysis and match report by Charlie Tuley.
It’s been a big summer for FC Barcelona. In Xavi’s first summer transfer window with the club, the manager has elected to spend big - potentially beyond Barcelona’s means - bringing in five new signings for more than 150 million euros. Xavi also renewed the contracts of Ousmane Dembélé and Sergi Roberto, which brought on greater financial strain on the club. Though there were worries that Barcelona might not be able to register all of their new signings ahead of their opener against Rayo Vallecano, Barcelona were able to get all of their new signings (barring the injured Jules Koundé) into the matchday squad.
Three of Barcelona’s summer signings made the starting eleven for the match against Rayo. Andreas Christensen partnered Eric García in the center-back roles, flanked by Ronald Araújo and Jordi Alba. Gavi, Sergio Busquets, and Pedri made up Xavi’s midfield three, with Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski, and Ousmane Dembélé as the three forwards.
Rayo Vallecano’s summer went in the opposite direction of Barcelona’s with the club really struggling to put together cash to finance any transfers. They were able to bring in a few players on free transfers and through loan moves, but their squad is largely unchanged from the side that only won three matches from their final twentytwo last . . .