Barcelona handed timely injury boost ahead of Benfica showdown
La Liga giants FC Barcelona have, on Sunday, been handed an altogether timely boost on the personnel front.
Depay the difference
The Blaugrana were of course back in action late last night.
In the club’s first fixture since the return of prodigal son Xavi, Barca welcomed rivals Espanyol to the Camp Nou, for a highly-anticipated derby showdown.
Xavi’s maiden outing aside, the clash marked a crucial one for a whole host of other reasons, too, not least the Catalan giants’ position in the La Liga table.
On the back of a 4-game winless streak, Xavi guided his side back into action sitting in the depths of mid-table in the Spanish top-flight.
In turn, it no doubt came as a relief to all associated with the club when, upon the final whistle sounding on Saturday, it was indeed Barca who emerged with all three points.
A solitary Memphis Depay spot-kick proved all she wrote when it came to the scoring in Catalunya, ensuring that a potentially prosperous new era at the Camp Nou got off to the ideal start:
The first goal of Xavi’s reign as Barcelona manager comes from a Memphis spot kick! 🔵🔴
Should it have been a penalty, though? 👀 pic.twitter.com/ZPSqAVQFcr
— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) November 20, 2021
One member of Xavi’s new squad to have played no part in their derby triumph, however, came in the form of Sergino Dest.
United States international Dest has struggled for fitness for several weeks now, owing to a back problem picked up at the beginning of the month.
In turn, upon Oscar Mingueza, who took up starting duties on the right of Barca’s back-4 on Saturday, limping out of proceedings, panic no doubt quickly set in amongst the Blaugrana’s fanbase.
This comes with the Spanish heavyweights primed to return to action in just two days’ time, in a crunch Champions League group stage meeting with Benfica.
As alluded to above, though, on Sunday, the hopes of Xavi and co. have been boosted by a timely return.
In a series of photos doing the rounds on social media, the aforementioned Dest can be seen back in first-team training, alongside the rest of the club’s first-team squad:
Sergiño Dest: back in group training today! pic.twitter.com/rkJyiGD2uy
— total Barça (@totalBarca) November 21, 2021
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