The new era at Camp Nou got off to an underwhelming start on La Liga’s opening weekend. The hosts were held to a 0-0 draw by Rayo Vallecano in a drab affair. Prior to the match, Barcelona finally raised funds to register their vast array of new signings by selling more of their assets, this time 25% of Barça Studios. Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Franck Kessie, and Andreas Christensen were all registered in time for the fixture against the visitors from Madrid, and all except Kessie started. However, it wasn’t enough to get the Blaugrana three points to start this term. Oddschecker, which compares odds offered by online bookmakers and provides free tips on European football, had expected the Catalonians to get their season off to a winning start but after the poor display, alarm bells may be ringing already.
New Signings, Same Barca
Despite the plethora of new signings in Barcelona’s ranks – signings for which the rest of Europe is trying to figure out where exactly the money has come from – the hosts still lacked a cutting edge in front of goal. That’s a fact that is even more surprising considering the acquisition of Robert Lewandowski, who arrived during the summer from Bayern Munich for €45m.
The 33-year-old bagged a mighty 447 goals in 562 appearances throughout his 12 years in Germany with the aforementioned Bavarians and Borussia Dortmund, but even that firepower wasn’t enough to break down a dogged Vallecano defense. It was the first time the Polish captain hadn’t scored during the opening game of the season for some nine years.
Creativity also seemed to be lacking. New signing Raphinha, and Ousmane Dembele – who has just signed a contract extension with the club – couldn’t make any inroads down the flanks, while the midfield trio of Gavi, Pedri, and Sergio Busquets were also somewhat impotent. The latter was also sent off in the dying embers, and that will be a cause for concern for the Catalans in the coming weeks.
Further Signings Expected
Further additions are expected through the doors of the Camp Nou in the coming weeks. Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva appeared to say his goodbyes in a somewhat cryptic tweet following his side’s 4-0 demolition of Bournemouth. His form in England throughout the last five years has seen the Portuguese attacking midfielder transform into one of the continent’s greatest playmakers and, on this recent showing, that could be exactly what Barcelona need.