Xavi: ‘The pressure of expectations weighs on Barca’

Xavi also praised Marc-Andre ter Stegen - the German goalkeeper made two saves in the face-off - and Lewandowski, although the striker played lackluster in his first official game for Barca.

“The expectations weighed heavily on the players, making them play somewhat stressful. But I told them that now the person under pressure right now is me, it’s the coach, not the players,” Xavi said after his La Liga debut at Camp Nou.

In the summer of 2022, Barca spent $ 153 million to recruit Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde.

They also signed Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie on free transfers.

These deals are expected to soon help Barca regain their position of power in La Liga – starting with the match against Rayo Vallecano yesterday.

But the reality is that xavi’s army still has a lot of work to do if they want to be a perfect winning machine.

Against Rayo Vallecano, Barca held the ball to 68%, finished 21 times with six hits, enjoyed eight corners but could not score.

They twice tore through the opposition net after close-range finishes by rookies Lewandowski and Kessie, but were both disallowed by offside errors.

For the third game in a row Barca failed to concede against Rayo Vallecano.

In the last two La Liga legs, Barca lost 0-1, respectively under Ronald Koeman and Xavi.

Barca drew 0-0 for the second time in the opening match of La Liga, after a draw with Sociedad in September 1968.

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