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Analysing Xavi's Barcelona debut: Green shoots and lots of suffering

Xavi has taken over Barcelona at a difficult time in the club's history, so it would be unrealistic for anyone to expect him to solve everything in just his first match. There were definitive improvements in his debut as the head coach at the Camp Nou, however, as his side produced a promising display in the first 45 minutes in particular as they went on to win their derby 1-0.

Barcelona put Espanyol under pressure throughout the first half, winning the ball back in dangerous areas, but this did drop off in the second period.

The Azulgrana's defensive problems are still glaring and, had Espanyol had their shooting boots on, they'd have run out comfortable winners.

Teams are allowed to create chances far too easily against Barcelona and this is something that has to be fixed quickly, with a huge tie coming up against Benfica in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The bottom line, though, is that Xavi has gotten off to the start he wanted - with a win - and can now build on this positive result as he looks to shape this Barcelona team into his own side.

Luck is back on Barcelona's side

Barcelona fans are smiling again after the return of club legend Xavi and these three points.

It seemed in recent weeks that absolutely everything was going against them and that teams could score when creating hardly anything.

The team finally got the rub of the green again against their city rivals, winning a penalty and seeing two good Espanyol chances bounce off the woodwork. That in itself is cause for optimism in the blue and red half of the Catalan capital.

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