Xavi Hernandez has returned FC Barcelona to winning ways after he led his team to defeat Espanyol 1-0 on Saturday, November 20, 2021. The slim victory came two weeks after the former FC Barcelona midfielder agreed to return to the club as the club’s manager.
Before he agreed to return to the club, FC Barcelona were experiencing a very poor run of games and in crisis on and off the pitch. The performance of the club forced the club’s board to sack coach Ronald Koeman.
Before Xavi Hernandez’s arrival, FC Barcelona had recorded 3 defeats, 5 draws, and 4 wins in the Spanish La Liga. Their poor form kicked them out of the top four.
Based on the current reality, the club is expected to win as many league games as possible to return to contention for the league title.
When Espanyol visited Camp Nou, they proved to be a very hard nut to crack. Barcelona had to wait until the 48th minute before Memphis Depay converted a penalty kick to give the home side the lead.
After the goal, both sides could not break down the defense of each other until the match ended. As expected, Barca enjoyed 66 percent of the ball possession and 6 shots on target as against Espanyol’s two shots.
After the 1-0 derby win over Espanyol, Xavi admitted that Barcelona suffered during the game. He also admitted that it was still early for him and his technical crew to implement much change; adding that he was happy with the attitude of his players during the game.
“I feel like we suffered and it’s clear it was a very complicated derby. They are a very good team, very organized and it’s tough to break them down,” he said.
“We really did struggle, it’s still early days and there are things we can improve on. I’m happy with the attitude but they did have some clear-cut chances.”
The win has pushed FC Barcelona to the 6th spot on the league table with 20 points in 13 games, 8 points away from first placed Sevilla.
Xavi Hernandez gives an update on Sergio Aguero’s career status
Aside from reacting to Barcelona’s performance in his first game in charge of the club, Xavi Hernandez was made to react to the career status of Sergio Aguero.
Recall that Aguero, a Manchester City legend who joined Barca last summer on a free transfer was substituted early in the league game against Alves on October 30, 2021. He had to leave the game after complaining of chest pain and difficulties in breathing.
After he exited the game, he was taken to the hospital and FC Barcelona announced that the 33-year-old Argentine football icon would stay out of football for three months.
Days later, reports surfaced that the Argentina international would be forced to retire due to a heart-related condition. The player however tweeted to debunk the report saying he is positive about his recovering process.
As if that was not enough, Aguero’s former teammate at Manchester City, Samir Nasri reportedly told Canal Plus that it has been confirmed that Aguero’s heart condition has forced him to retire from football.
“He just sent me a message and unfortunately it is confirmed,” Nasri said.
“I am very sorry because besides having been the player that everyone knows, he is a very good guy, a very good person. It is not a choice, it is unfortunately forced. I know the love he has for this sport, so I really feel sorry.”
On the contrary, after the 1-0 win over Espanyol on Saturday, Barca’s coach Xavi told reporters that he did not know about the report claiming that Aguero has retired.
Xavi stressed that he spoke with the Argentine star recently, adding that the speculation that the Argentine star had retired is not true.
“I do not know anything, I spoke with him the other day and what has come out is not true,” the coach said.
“We do not have this information, I do not know where it comes from.
“He is calm. I told him to come when he is well. It is a medical issue. We have to wait and find out.”