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Xavi Hernandez bids farewell as Barcelona beat Sevilla

Xavi Hernandez’s tenure as Barcelona manager ended on a high as the Catalan side beat Sevilla 2-1 in the last match of the season.

Barcelona got things rolling as Robert Lewandowski scored in the 15th minute after Joao Cancelo, one of a handful of players who could have played their last match for Barcelona, delivered a well placed cross. The Polish striker only needed to flick the ball past the net to give his side the lead.

In the 31st minute, Sevilla would equalize through Youssef En-Nesyri.

Barcelona would reclaim the lead through Fermin Lopez in the 59th minute with a shot from outside the area. The La Masia graduate celebrated the goal with Xavi who bet on him ahead of this season.

The goal brought Lopez’s tally to 11 on the season, making the second highest scoring player for Barcelona behind only Lewandowski.

The game was a back and forth affair with both teams having a handful of opportunities to score. It very well could have been a much higher score line.

“I don’t think the work has been appreciated enough,” Xavi said after the game. “A double last year and this year we haven’t been up to the task because of details.

“I leave with some mixed feelings because the work is positive even though we didn’t win titles this season. I think we were on the right track and I still think so.”

In a way, Xavi had a point.

Barcelona finished the season with 85 points, only three points off last season where they won LaLiga. However, Real Madrid improved drastically from their output last season. Coupled with Barcelona losing both matches against Madrid and Girona, the result was finishing second, ten points off the top.

The now former Barcelona boss learned of his fate only a few days earlier as Joan Laporta made the call to sack him despite holding a press conference less than six weeks ago confirming Xavi would lead the team one more season.

Few, if any, will argue the way this was handled by Laporta was the best way to go about it. But a change was necessary and Hansi Flick will now take over.

While this season didn’t go as planned for the club, Xavi Hernandez leaves with the appreciation from the Barcelona faithful given what he accomplished last season, the youngsters he gave first team debuts to and accepting to take the job in what was one of the most difficult times in the club’s history.

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