Ahead of Xavi’s first match as Barcelona coach expectations were clearly heightened, with thousands of supporters letting off flares and fireworks before the game.
With Ronald Koeman finally gone after a year of under-par showings, the need for the Catalans to produce a top-level performance was obvious.
They didn’t quite manage it, but neither was it the was 1-0 win they’ve been involved in.
The fact that the Blaugranes earned three incredibly valuable points will have been enough for most supporters, and the result certainly provides Xavi with a springboard for the rest of the season.
In the opening 45, Barca were sharp and considered in their passing, and their play had the ‘zip’ that was missing during the Koeman era.
Possession was kept for long periods, and there was little for Xavi to be overly concerned by.
His charges tired significantly towards the end of the game, and fitness as well as concentration will need to be worked on over the coming weeks.
All in all, it was a decent workout, with more positives than negatives for the hosts.