First Division - Day 2

Barcelona 1 - Rayo Vallecano 1

Barcelona: Bonano; Rochemback, Christanval (Coco 74'), Andersson, Sergi; Geovanni, Xavi, Luis Enrique (Puyol 64'), Cocu; Saviola (Alfonso 81'), Kluivert. 4-4-2.
Rayo: Imanol; Alcázar, Corino, Hernández, Graff; Roy, Quevedo; Azkoitia, Michel (Glaucio 92'), Arteaga (Rodríguez 75'); Bolo (Luis Cembranos 66'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Barcelona: Geovanni, Saviola for Overmars, Rivaldo / Rayo: Azkoitia, Bolo for Peragón, Bolic.

0-1. 55. Arteaga (penalty). After Luis Enrique ruled to have pulled down Roy.
1-1. 65. Rochemback. Shot from right of area which went in off Hernández.

Barcelona slipped up at home and in the end were fortunate to get a 1-1 draw against a better than expected Rayo Vallecano. With Rivaldo out for three weeks after picking up an injury playing for Brazil and Overmars also not recovered from a knock playing for Holland, Barça were short of inspiration, even with new signing Saviola playing up front with Kluivert. Playmaker Xavi found himself heavily marked in midfield, and only Geovanni created any problems in the first half. Rayo were starting to make inroads, especially with Arteaga down the left wing against an out of position Rochemback , and they took the lead through an Arteaga penalty ten minutes in to the second half when referee Turienzo Alvarez ruled that Luis Enrique had pushed over Roy.

Rexach decided to bring on Puyol at right back pushing Rochemback into the position vacated by Luis Enrique, and it paid off almost immediately, the Brazilian hitting the bar and then levelling the scores in the follow up with a shot which was turned in to his own net by Hernández. Barcelona brought on their latest signing Coco and then replaced a disappointing Saviola with transfer listed Alfonso, but Michel almost gave Rayo the three points with an effort which hit both posts before bouncing back to the keeper. In the last play of the match Graff brought down Geovanni in the area, but he clearly won the ball and despite Barça's protests the referee correctly waved play on. They go on to play Olympique Lyon in the Champions League at the Nou Camp on Wednesday night, and will have to do better if they are to be real contenders this year.