Barcelona: Despite sack, Xavi ends final game with victory over Sevilla

Xavi Hernandez’s final game as Barcelona coach was a 2-1 victory over Sevilla on Sunday, which ended the La Liga season.

The Catalans, who finished second, finished the season without a trophy, but they did win Xavi’s final match in command after President Joan Laporta fired him on Friday.

Just weeks ago, Barcelona confirmed that Xavi would return for the following season despite announcing in January that he would resign in the summer.

Appointed in November 2021, Xavi led Barcelona to the Spanish title last season, but this year his team finished 10 points behind champions and bitter rivals Real Madrid.

German coach Hansi Flick is expected to be appointed as Xavi’s successor next week.

Robert Lewandowski put Barcelona ahead from close range but Youssef En-Nesyri levelled for Sevilla, whose coach Quique Sanchez Flores is also leaving at the end of the season.

One of Xavi’s successes in the role has been to give young players their chance, including starlets Lamine Yamal and Pau Cubarsi, but also midfielder Fermin Lopez.

The 21-year-old drilled Barcelona ahead in the second half with a low strike from outside the area.

Lopez ran over to Xavi to give the departing coach a hug after his goal.

“Firstly, as a professional he has given us so much, he worked every day so that we could succeed,” Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen told DAZN.

“We thank him a lot for his time. We wish him the best — on a personal level, he’s been a friend for many years and it’s never easy to (see) him go.”

Some Sevilla fans protested against the board before the game, wearing black and entering the game 10 minutes late, after another disappointing campaign. The Andalucians finish 14th.

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