The defense of the Spanish league title was initiated by Barcelona on Sunday with a higher count of complaints than celebrations. Despite the effort, Raphinha’s red card in the first half due to elbowing an opponent couldn’t be overcome by the team. Contributing to the frustration, a crucial VAR decision was not favoured by them during the late stages of the game, resulting in a 0-0 draw against Getafe in their league opener.
The dissatisfaction was expressed by Barcelona’s coach, Xavi, who stated, “If this is the representation of the Spanish league, it is a source of embarrassment.” Xavi himself was shown a red card in the 70th minute for disputing a foul that was not called by the officials.
The expulsion of Raphinha occurred after contact was made with Getafe defender Gastón Álvarez’s head with his right elbow while contesting for an advantageous position in attack during the 42nd minute. This incident left Barcelona with a numerical disadvantage on the field until Getafe’s Jaime Mata was also sent off with a second yellow card for a foul on Ronald Araujo in the 57th minute.
Continuation of Barcelona’s grievances was witnessed when they believed a penalty kick had been earned after Araujo was fouled inside the penalty area during stoppage time, nearly 10 minutes before the end of the game. However, upon video review, it was determined that there had been a handball committed by Barcelona midfielder Gavi during the buildup to the incident.
This decision was criticized by Xavi, who said, “The supposed handball did not occur. It was stated that only blatant handballs would be penalized, which did not reflect the actual outcome. This was highly unjust.”
The debut of new Barcelona midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, following his transfer from Manchester City during the offseason, was also marked in the match.
In other league action, a 2-0 victory against Athletic Bilbao was secured by Real Madrid on Saturday, while Atletico Madrid is set to commence its campaign against Granada on Monday.