Guardiola laments nightmare start

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola admitted he was frustrated at collecting just a single point from the opening two La Liga fixtures, which is the Spanish giants' worst start for 35 years. After losing to Numancia a fortnight ago, Barcelona drew 1-1 with Racing Santander yesterday evening, with Jonathan Pereira cancelling out Lionel Messi's penalty.

"I can't criticise the players as I am very happy with their attitude," said Guardiola. "The draw leaves a sour taste in my mouth but I have nothing to complain about besides the result.

"We deserved the victory against a team that came to take the tempo out of the game and be behind the ball. The team played better than last time (against Numancia) but we are struggling to find the net."

It is Barcelona's worst start since the 1973/74 season, when they also seized just one point out of six, but a Johan Cruyff-inspired side ended up winning the title that season. Guardiola will hope to do the same.

Continental challenge
Barça dominated Racing for long periods. They were, however, undone by a sucker punch to leave Guardiola a frustrated figure.

"Football is the only sport where you can win without having any real shots on goal," he said. "Our opponents (Numancia and Racing) have hardly threatened our goal but have still taken five points from us."

The players are hurting but my job is to cheer them up and make them see that they have done a lot of things well
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola aims to raise his charges' spirits before they take on Sporting on Tuesday.

Barcelona host Sporting in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, and Guardiola acknowledged he needed to boost morale in the dressing room. "," he said.

Barcelona reached the semi-finals of last season's Champions League, losing to eventual victors Manchester United.