Barcelona’s hopes of a successful title defense in La Liga got off to a rocky start on Sunday, as the Catalan giants were held to a 0-0 draw at Getafe.
The match was marred by controversy, as Barcelona had Raphinha sent off in the first half for elbowing an opponent. The Brazilian winger was shown a straight red card for the incident, which left Barcelona with 10 men for the rest of the game.
Barcelona then had a penalty appeal turned down in stoppage time, as VAR ruled that Gavi had handled the ball in the build-up.
Coach Xavi Hernandez was furious with the decision, and he was himself sent off for arguing with the officials.
“If this is the product that the Spanish league wants to sell, then it’s an embarrassment,” Xavi said after the match.
The draw leaves Barcelona in third place in the La Liga table, two points behind Real Madrid and one point behind Atletico Madrid.
Rafa Benítez’s Celta Vigo also lost their opening game of the season, going down 2-0 to Osasuna.
Substitute Willian José scored five minutes into stoppage time to give Real Betis a 2-1 win over Villarreal.