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Xavi Kicks Off Barca Managerial Reign With Derby Win Over Espanyol

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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.

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

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.

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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