Tremendous victory for us, says Xavi after Barca end winless run on road

Barcelona's Memphis Depay celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the La Liga match against Villarreal. (AP)
Barcelona's Memphis Depay celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the La Liga match against Villarreal. (AP)

Barcelona beat Villarreal 3-1 on Saturday



By AFP

Published: Sun 28 Nov 2021, 4:37 PM

Barcelona notched their first away win in La Liga this season in Xavi Hernandez’s first away game in charge as late goals from Memphis Depay and Philippe Coutinho secured a 3-1 victory over Villarreal on Saturday.

Barca had gone five away matches in the league without a win but Xavi had the magic touch, with the 41-year-old overseeing his second victory out of two in La Liga, either side of a midweek goalless draw at home to Benfica in the Champions League.

The score at La Ceramica flattered Barca, who could easily have lost a frantic game in which Villarreal spurned a number of excellent chances, only to commit a dreadful mistake at the back that allowed Depay to score in the 88th minute.

Coutinho added a third from the penalty spot in injury-time after Samuel Chukwueze had earlier cancelled out Frenkie de Jong’s opener early in the second half.

“It was the game we dominated the least, but we won,” said Xavi. “On Tuesday we deserved to win and we drew, today it could have been a draw, and we got the win. It’s a tremendous victory for us.”

Barcelona cut the gap to Atletico Madrid in fourth to three points, before Atletico play at Cadiz on Sunday. They are still seven points behind leaders Real Madrid, who are at home on Sunday to third-placed Sevilla.

One blot on the evening was an injury to Jordi Alba, who had to be replaced in the second half, with his fitness now a concern less than two weeks before Barca’s pivotal final Champions League group game at Bayern Munich.


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