The truth of football is on the pitch and Barca still lacks game and time to respond to the propaganda announcing a spectacular debut in the League. It is not yet a team but a better and broader sticker album than last season, also more vital and, at the same time, just as sterile against Rayo Vallecano. The azulgrana gave up a draw against a rival who already won both games last year by 0-1. One caused the dismissal of Koeman and the second unhinged the Camp Nou.
Ter Stegen, Alba (Aubameyang, min. 81), A. Christensen (Sergi Roberto, min. 59), Eric Garcia, Ronald Araujo, Busquets, Pedri (Kessie Franck, min. 71), Gavi (Frenkie De Jong, min. 59), Lewandowski, Ousmane Dembele and Raphinha (Ansu Fati, min. 60)
Dimitrievski, Fran Garcia, Catena, Balliu, Lejeune, Pathe Ciss, Isi (Salvi, min. 78), Unai Lopez (Óscar Valentin, min. 61), Trejo (Jose Pozo, min. 83), Álvaro Garcia and Sergio Camello ( Falcao, minute 61)
Referee Alexander Jose Hernandez Hernandez
Yellow cards Ousmane Dembele (min. 13), Trejo (min. 44), Catena (min. 49), Lejeune (min. 53), Falcao (min. 68), Busquets (min. 73), Pathe Ciss (min. 85) and Dimitrievski (min. 88)
red cards Busquets (min. 92)
The days go by and Rayo improves because they have an idea of the game while Barca has lost its style because of the rush and the desire to be Barca again. Right now he is such a depersonalized hybrid that the contest ended without Pedri or Gavi and Busquets expelled in full derangement from the Camp Nou.
There are no means to process football, chew the play, pause and the result is at the expense of defenders and forwards, a terrain that pays vertigo, the coming and going, the high voltage and the roar of a stand desperate to see a goal that does not come in serious games and is left over in summer games like Gamper. The disappointment was monumental because Rayo caressed victory on a night of exhausting embarrassment, as serious as it was daring, more focused than Barca.
The match already had an unexpected start because the stadium cried out in favor of Barca and the ball did not leave Ter Stegen’s balcony. Rayo pressed in a tenacious and synchronized way, the forwards were intense, the midfielders well placed and the defenders very advanced, as if the ground were tilted towards the Barcelona field. The match became a test for Christensen. It was not easy to get the ball out of your own court and build the play because the interiors or the central midfielder did not appear and from a distance only the extremes were offered: Dembele and Raphinha. Both tried to liberate the team in some way because they were always sharp, sharp and electric and also more aggressive than precise against Dimitrievski.
The fate of the match seemed to depend on the two couples attacking from the flanks: Raphinha-Dembele and Álvaro Garcia-Isi. It is already known that the full-backs are Barca’s weak point and it does not seem that Xavi has found a stable solution because he distrusts Dest and has no alternative for Alba while waiting for Marcos Alonso, once Azpilicueta could not be signed. A momentary alternative for the right flank is to reconvert to a central defender like Araujo or later Kounde. The Uruguayan formed alongside Christensen and Eric Garcia while Alba remained on the left. Pique was left out precisely when his contract was being discussed in the Camp Nou offices. He saw in his seat how the central Araujo did not work as a side against Rayo.
Álvaro Garcia broke and sat down the charrua to later be reduced in heads-up by Ter Stegen and Isi did not stop blowing Alba’s neck. Rayo lacked imbalance to culminate their excellent associative football, tactically rigorous, very brave at the Camp Nou. Iraola had thought very well about the game and knew how to defend Barcelona collectively. Even the young Camel wore shoes that weren’t even painted in the formation of the Rayo technician. Barca had no game inside and the centers could not find Lewandowski. No fan noticed indolence or laziness in the azulgrana but impotence and impatience to score, to win, to like the fiery Camp Nou, full of tourists, just as vibrant as in the Gamper.
Rayo did not concede spaces, avoided transitions with tactical fouls, rested with time losses, denied Busquets and selected their attacks towards Ter Stegen’s goal. The second best chance was also his due to a Barcelona turnover: Camello narrowly missed the goal after being blocked by Eric and Christensen. Already desperate, Xavi switched to one player per line, given over to the instinct of Ansu Fati and the deployment of Frenkie de Jong and later to the strength of Kessie. There were more legs and also less head due to the substitution of Pedri.
The arrival of good footballers has enriched the squad, improved the team and fostered competition, especially in the areas, Barcelona’s weak point since Messi’s departure and the laziness of the unprotected Ter Stegen. The game, however, depends on an acquaintance named Pedri. And the player from Tenerife was as well defended as he was poorly substituted -if not that he caused an injury- when Ansu tried to make amends for Lewandowski.
Although the shots followed one another in both areas, and Rayo even had a goal disallowed, there was no way to see a goal to the frustration of the thousands of spectators who had paid a ticket to see a Barca exhibition. Everything is very apparent and still fragile at Barca. It is enough to highlight that the best standing was perhaps De Jong. The Dutchman asks for a place in a team that he is about to make, shirtless with plenty of energy and instead without a passing line or game, a frustration for the Camp Nou.
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Source: EL PAIS