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Xavi Kicks Off Barca Managerial Reign With Derby Win Over Espanyol

Xavi Kicks Off Barca Managerial Reign With Derby Win Over Espanyol

Spanish legend Xavi Hernandez kicked off his start to life as Barcelona head coach with a scrappy 1-0 win over Catalan rivals Espanyol at the Camp Nou on Saturday night.

Xavi secured a positive first step to his return to the club, with three points on the board, but his side were fortunate not to concede a late equaliser.

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Neither side created much before the break with Sergio Busquets and Gavi both denied by Diego Lopez in the visitors goal.

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However, Barcelona stepped it up a gear after the restart, with Dutch star Memphis Depay picking himself up to convert from the penalty spot.

But despite appearing set to go on and clinch a comfortable victory over their neighbours, Barcelona were forced to withstand a flurry of late pressure.

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In form star Raul de Tomas rattled the post from a free kick before substitute Landry Dimata missed an open goal in the final moments.

Up next for Xavi is a midweek Champions League clash against Benfica with a win needed to secure their place in the last 16 in 2022.

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