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Xavi reacts to Barcelona’s goalless draw with Rayo Vallecano

Xavi reacts to Barcelona’s goalless draw with Rayo Vallecano

Barcelona boss Xavi has said that he ‘understands the disappointment’ of the supporters following Saturday’s goalless draw with Rayo Vallecano at Camp Nou.

The Catalan giants have had an impressive transfer window, with Andreas Christensen, Franck Kessie, Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski and Jules Kounde arriving at the club.

Christensen, Raphinha and Lewandowski made their debuts as starters against Rayo, while Kessie was introduced in the second half of the contest.

Barcelona could not find a way through against a stern Rayo outfit, though, with the Catalan side being forced to accept a share of the spoils in their first match of the campaign.

Xavi has praised the visitors for their impressive defending throughout the 90 minutes and has said that patience is required, as Barcelona look to click into gear this term.

New Barcelona boss Xavi pictured on November 8, 2021© Reuters

“I understand the disappointment, we had generated a lot of expectations. We have to analyse the game well, improve and continue to believe in the model and keep working,” Xavi told reporters.

“Rayo defended very well. It was hard for us to create more than usual. It’s a shame because we wanted to show the fans that we are on the right track.

“It’s a disappointment, but we ask for patience. We needed to attack better and create chances. We didn’t play our best game. We are disappointed. It could be that the expectations were raised a little bit too high. It’s a bit insufficient.

“I don’t want to look for excuses. Just explanations. There had better be high expectations. I’m the first to accept these expectations. Maybe, by looking for an explanation, we have been a bit more stressed. We lacked effectiveness. It was a game we could have won well.”

Xavi has also insisted that the setback on the first weekend of the new campaign does not change the team’s objectives, as they bid to win major silverware this term.

Franck Kessie celebrates scoring for Barcelona on August 13, 2022© Reuters

“[Winning titles] is the objective. We have to analyse and improve. But this season the objective is to win titles. It doesn’t change anything. We can’t say ‘not now’ just because we drew [with Rayo],” he added.

“If we don’t achieve it, it will be disappointing for me and for the club. Last year it was more difficult.”

Kounde was not able to be registered in time for the match against Rayo, and it is understood that the Frenchman will not be cleared to play in La Liga until Barcelona have made a major sale or reduced their wage budget.

Frenkie de Jong and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were both used off the bench on Saturday amid the speculation surrounding their futures, but Memphis Depay was an unused substitute.

Barcelona will be bidding to record their first victory of the season when they make the trip to Real Sociedad next Sunday before finishing the month at home to Real Valladolid on August 28.

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