Barcelona’s supporters have taken to social media in numbers on Saturday night, to single one player out for special praise on the back of their side’s meeting with Espanyol.0 seconds of 1 minute, 23 seconds
Depay decides it
The long-awaited Xavi Hernandez era in Catalunya got underway a short time ago.
On the back of Ronald Koeman’s dismissal, and the Spaniard’s ensuing instillation on the club’s bench, the Blaugrana welcomed Espanyol to the Camp Nou, for a derby showdown.
Barca headed into proceedings aware that a 3-point haul was an absolute must, after slipping to the depths of mid-table in La Liga owing to a 4-game winless streak.
MADRID, SPAIN – OCTOBER 02: Frenkie de Jong of FC Barcelona looks dejected after they concede their second goal during the La Liga Santander match between Club Atletico de Madrid and FC Barcelona at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on October 02, 2021 in Madrid
And, when all was said and done, return to winning ways is precisely what the hosts managed, just…
A hard-fought 90 minutes, during which both sides could and should have added further to the scoreline, was ultimately decided by a solitary Memphis Depay spot-kick early in the 2nd-half:
The first goal of Xavi’s reign as Barcelona manager comes from a Memphis spot kick! 🔵🔴
Should it have been a penalty, though? 👀
In turn, on the back of a solid if unspectacular opening to the Xavi era at the Camp Nou, the Barcelona faithful have since been characteristically vocal in airing their opinions regarding this evening’s action across social media.
The likes of youngsters Gavi and Nico, for example, have been singled out for widespread praise.
It is in fact a considerably more senior member of the Blaugrana’s ranks, however, who has seen his excellence versus Espanyol highlighted more frequently than any other.
The player in question? Sergio Busquets.
Veteran Spanish international Busquets was handed a starting berth in the middle of the park on Saturday, and went on to control proceedings with sumptuous ease, picking Espanyol apart courtesy of a stellar blend of touch, vision and passing.
In turn, some have gone as far as to suggest that the 33-year-old, so often singled out for criticism of late, is now ‘back’, owing to the return of his one-time partner in crime:
Busquets passing is op rn holy shit he’s back 🙏🤩
Yall think I’m exaggerating till you see it yourself
— Miguel (mogly) (@elmogly22) November 20, 2021
Busquets is on demon mode today. Looking everywhere, analysing everything ahead of him. Mentally he’s ahead of everyone.