Wednesday, December 8, 2021
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Barcelona 1-0 Espanyol: Xavi era begins with a close win in the derby

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Barcelona began their era under Xavi Hernandez with a derby victory over Espanyol at Camp Nou. The club legend gave a start to rising stars Gavi and Nico, while 19-year-old Ilias Akhomach made his debut for the first team. 

The hosts were mainly on the front foot during the initial half of the game. Espanyol did not have much-attacking output in the opening 45 minutes. But, Ter Stegen was called into action when he had to tip a deflected shot over the bar. 

Only minutes into the second half, Memphis Depay would earn a penalty for Barcelona and convert it to score the first goal under Xavi. 

Raul De Tomas would prove to be the primary attacking force for the visitors. The 27-year-old hit the woodwork numerous times in the second half, and was denied an equaliser for his team. 

Landry Dimata of Espanyol had the best chance of the night, meeting a cross from Nico Melemed unmarked. To the disappointment of the away fans, the player headed the ball wide and threw away a great chance to equalise. 

A number of close calls were seen throughout the game, but Espanyol could not find the back of the net past ter Stegen. The German keeper managed to keep a clean sheet in the derby as Barcelona picked up all three points. 

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One of the important takeaways from the match will be that Barcelona’s defense still needs improving. Had it not been for a lack of clinical finishing, Raul De Tomas and Espanyol could have taken a point off of their local rivals. 

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Avatar of Arsh Das
Arsh Das
A music enthusiast, also passionate about football and bringing you the latest in the sporting world every day.

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