Depay on spot as Xavi’s Barcelona era starts with win over Espanyol

This would have to do for now. Twice as many people were at the Camp Nou than the last time their team played here in La Liga, 74,000 turning out where it had been 37,000 before and hoping to witness a brave new world, but Barcelona needed a Memphis Depay penalty to win the derby and begin the Xavi Hernández era with a victory. Just.

There was youth, optimism, and in the first half at least a fleeting glimpse of something good, but in the end, Barcelona were left hanging on, familiar flaws revealed again. With five minutes to go, and with the home side having lost the thing their new manager most treasures – the ball – Raul De Tomás headed against the post, the nerves back again, which wasn’t the way it was supposed to be or the way it had started.

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