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Espanyol takes Xavi’s Barcelona to the limit in a controversial derby | LaLiga Santander 2021

 Espanyol takes Xavi's Barcelona to the limit in a controversial derby |  LaLiga Santander 2021

The Catalans win thanks to a controversial penalty over Memphis at the start of the second act

Memphis, on the Cabrera penalty play.AP

The night could only approach ecstasy. To the fascination that mythomania forces. And also to delirium and anguish. Barcelona and Espanyol experienced a derby in which many of the suspicions were confirmed. Football, after the propaganda that surrounds it, tends to be too transparent. The Catalans won. But after the Blue and Whites, in a competitive nirvana in the second half, managed to lead them to extreme suffering.

Xavi Hernndez began his way on the bench at the Camp Nou forcing his players to regain self-esteem from the ball. But it is still too far from mastering the areas. Mingueza he continues to widen the hole – this time who took him to the limit was Ral de Toms – and taking goals is nothing short of an ordeal. Just the bad head of Dimata and a stick of Ral de Toms at the last border prevented Espanyol from catching something positive.

The Blue and Whites, like so many other times – there are already 14 consecutive defeats at the Camp Nou – found themselves with insurmountable walls. The main one, one’s own fear. Vicente Moreno’s approach in the first act, with a Numantine defense as the only response, led him to lose too much time no matter how much De Toms insisted on corrupting Barcelona’s defensive fabric. Although behind that self-imposed wall was the referee’s zeal, with Cabrera’s penalty to Memphis as a determining point of the night. Nico, in the first half, had also rightly claimed a maximum penalty of David lpez. The Dutch goal was enough. And a blessing for this Bara in diapers.

The usual thing is to make our expectations our own. Cling to them even if it is necessary to deform and even deny reality. It is understandable. This sport, especially at times when there are no games involved, has its main emotional motor in illusion. Xavi Hernndez spoke on the eve of the derby of a “restart” at Barcelona. Now it will be necessary to see if football, which never had its best virtue in patience, will know how to wait.

Xavi celebrates Memphis 1-0 in the technical zone.AFP

Vicente Moreno, the Espanyol coach, was always characterized by applying common sense. His bet on the Camp Nou will be criticized for an alleged lack of courage. He pushed his team far back. So much so that the three center-backs -David Lpez embedded himself between Cabrera and Sergi Gmez- had the goalkeeper’s breath in their necks. Diego Lopez. Everything must respond to an attempt by the Blue and White coach to play with the Barça nervous system.

Old structural problems

After a first half hour in which Barcelona exhibited intensity in the robbery and a wide deployment by the interiors –Nico and De Jong– old structural problems reappeared. This team is missing someone to crown creation. The goal is the forbidden fruit and MemphisDespite his constant offers, he ended up trying to finish off his own centers.

There was still half an hour before the game began. The seats were beginning to take on color and the footballers were striving to carry out those warm-up exercises in which it is easy to see whether or not their faces reflect the tension of ecstatic nights. It was then that the name of the great protagonist came from the megaphone. Of the new Barça pantocrtor: Xavi Hernndez. The Camp Nou resounded with the uncontrollable anxiety of those who experience something for the first time.

Xavi’s six years in Qatar, first as a retired footballer, then as a fledgling coach in an Al-Sadd turned laboratory of ideas, were far from forgotten. Because while Barcelona was falling apart to the comps of Bartomeu’s institutional delirium and with a Joan Laporta that premiere their second stage closing the era Messi, longing for a past who knows if recoverable could only lead to the same figure.

Another 17-year-old

Xavi has a blind faith in aspects that had been despised in recent times. The ball is alpha and it is omega. And the young people are not a simple propaganda tool, but the reference of a project in which the veterans (Piqu, Jordi Alba and Busquets) do not lose their status. Who knows if with these pieces there will be a way to give continuity to the work of Johan cruyff or Pep Guardiola.

Depay celebrates Bara’s winning goal at the Camp Nou.EFE

Xavi, in his first line-up as Barcelona coach, started eight players raised in La Masia. And before the hardships suffered by the team in attack, I looked down. He needed two extremes. The solution was to take to the left bank Gavi, the best of Barcelona, ​​and to the right the debutant Ilias Akhomach. Yes, another 17-year-old boy, born this one in Igualada. After him came Abde, in whom Xavi found an agitator when Espanyol pressed the most.

It was the blue and white who monopolized the scene in a last stretch in which the Bara unraveled badly. Espanyol piled up as many forwards as they could. And Barcelona, ​​with the ghostly Coutinho As evidence of this present, he could only cling to life.

Reference from elmundo