Despite dominating most of the major statistical categories, Barcelona were forced to settle for a 0-0 in their LaLiga Santander opener against Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.
After a summer transfer market that saw several big names join Barcelona, Xavi handed league debuts to Andreas Christensen, Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha.
Unfortunately for the over 80,000 Blaugrana fans in attendance at the Camp Nou, the new era began with a bit of sputter thanks in large part to Stole Dimitrievski, who was instrumental in helping Rayo head back to Madrid with a point in hand.
Robert Lewandowski failed to find the net on his Barcelona debut after being selected to start for his side’s first LaLiga game of the season against Rayo Vallecano.
The Polish striker, who signed from Bayern Munich over the summer and was only just registered in time to start the season, was selected ahead of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to lead Barca’s frontline but could not break down Rayo during the goalless draw.
Barca also handed debuts to former Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen and Leeds forward Raphinha, but both were substituted after an hour at the Nou Camp.
Manchester United and Chelsea target Frenkie de Jong and another new arrival in Franck Kessie were introduced in the second half but they too struggled to find a way past the stubborn visitors on the opening weekend of the season.
Soon after, Ousmane Dembele picked out Raphinha, who was left all alone at the edge of the box, only for the Brazilian to fire his first time effort over the bar.
Barcelona continued to threaten, Pedri curling a first-time strike just wide of the mark soon after, but it was Rayo who had the best chance of the opening 45 minutes.
Alvaro Garcia broke down the left and did well to dribble past a sliding Ronald Araujo. However, Marc-Andre ter Stegen kept his ground and denied the Spaniard from close range to keep things level.
Rayo came close again soon after the restart. Sergio Camello found himself in on goal, but waited a fraction too long, chipping his effort over the bar from close range after Ter Stegen did just enough to block the angle.
Barcelona responded with a shot from distance by Ansu Fati, but Dimitrievski did well to push the effort out of danger as Rayo’s hopes of getting something from their visit to the Camp Nou continued to grow.