Barcelona fans finally had a reason to celebrate again as their team played arguably their best game of the season to earn a much-needed 1-0 home win over local rivals Espanyol in LaLiga on their new head coach Xavi Hernandez’s debut on Saturday.
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Xavi probably could not have asked for much more in his first game managing a struggling Barca team who are sixth in the standings, eight points behind leaders Sevilla.
It was a dominating performance despite the scoreline and it happened in front of an almost sold-out Camp Nou that exuded hope and excitement for the first time in a long while.
Xavi Hernandez earned his first win as Barcelona manager. Getty
After dominating the first half it took 40 seconds after the break for Barcelona to get a penalty. Gavi played a brilliant through pass to Memphis Depay who was caught by a sliding tackle from Leandro Cabrera. The Dutchman got up to net the spot kick.
As Barca relaxed towards the end Espanyol had chances to equalise through Raul de Tomas, who twice hit the post. But the hosts held on for a first win in their last five league games.