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Xavi guides Barcelona to derby win in first game in charge

Posted on November 22, 2021

A new era at Camp Nou kicked off on Saturday night as Xavi took charge of Barcelona for the first time following his appointment. The Blaugrana hero was named Ronald Koeman's permanent replacement earlier this month on a contract until June 2024 after the Dutchman failed to have the desired effect for the La Liga powerhouse.

Xavi's first game as head coach was a baptism of fire in the Derbi barceloni, and while the Blaugrana were made to work hard for all the spoils, a Memphis Depay penalty settled the contest shortly after the break. However, Espanyol were no pushover at Camp Nou and while Barcelona dominated possession, as is to be expected, Vicente Moreno's side were more than a match for their illustrious rivals.

Espanyol managed 12 shots to Barcelona's 16, while Spanish goal machine Raul De Tomas struck the woodwork twice late on as they sought to spoil the party for Xavi. That said, Xavi's side were, overall, the better of the two teams are were perhaps deserving winners. They created 12 goalscoring chances to Espanyol's seven, and managed 65% possession in a historic night at Camp Nou.

A winning start for Xavi at the Barcelona helm, then, but there is work still to be done for the 41-year-old. Three points on the board and a return to winning ways after a four-match winless run, Xavi will have been pleased to get off the mark straight away.