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Barcelona captain Xavi left the pitch to a standing ovation

Xavi

 

Barcelona captain Xavi left the pitch to a standing ovation as his final La Liga game ended in a draw against Deportivo de La Coruna.

The 35-year-old midfielder, who has spent 24 years with the club, was withdrawn with five minutes left and saluted by the whole of the Nou Camp.

Lionel Messi’s brace had put Barca 2-0 up before Deportivo fought back.

Lucas and Diogo Salomao earned a point for Deportivo who escaped relegation on head-to-head record with Eibar.

Barcelona’s players wore special shirts to honour Xavi after he announced he will leave the Spanish champions at the end of the season to join Qatari side Al Sadd.

His final bow at the Nou Camp is expected to come in the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao next weekend while his last appearance in a Barcelona shirt is likely to be the Champions League final against Juventus in Berlin on 6 June.

With the La Liga title already sewn up and both those two matches in mind, Barca coach Luis Enrique made nine changes to his starting line-up.

Xavi man and boy

Xavi joined Barcelona aged 11

That meant ex-Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen featured for the first time since he joined last summer, having endured a difficult spell out through injury.

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Barca took the lead in the fifth minute when Deportivo goalkeeper Fabricio parried the ball clear to Brazil midfielder Rafinha, who crossed for Messi at the back post and the Argentine headed in from close range.

The hosts had the ball in the net again before the break when Messi got on the end of the a sublime lofted pass from Neymar only for the referee to disallow it.

However, the same combination saw Barca increase their advantage with a clinical counter attack just before the hour mark.

With Deportivo caught short at the back, Neymar slid the ball across goal to leave Messi with a simple tap-in.

The visitors pulled a goal back through winger Lucas, who curled the ball past goalkeeper Jordi Masip from the edge of the area and into the net.

And the Nou Camp was left stunned with 14 minutes left as Salomao equalised when he poked home after Haris Medunjanin’s initial free-kick had been blocked by the Barcelona wall.

It did not really take the gloss off the day for Xavi, who lifted his eighth La Liga trophy for the Catalans after the full-time whistle.

Xavi shirt

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Barcelona’s players wore special shirts thanking Xavi for his contribution at the Nou Camp

Xavi giant flag

Supporters at the Nou Camp saluted Xavi with a giant flag

Xavi waves

Xavi was given a standing ovation by Barcelona supporters when he was taken off with five minutes left

Xavi

Xavi lifted his eighth La Liga trophy in his final league match

LINEUP, BOOKINGS (4) & SUBSTITUTIONS (6)

Barcelona

  • 25 Masip
  • 21 Adriano
  • 15 Bartra (Mascherano – 70′ )
  • 23 Vermaelen (Pereira dos Santos – 63′ )
  • 24 Mathieu Booked
  • 12 Alcántara do Nascimento
  • 20 Sergi
  • 06 Xavi (Iniesta – 86′ )
  • 10 Messi
  • 07 Pedro
  • 11 Neymar

Substitutes

  • 02 Montoya
  • 08 Iniesta
  • 13 Bravo
  • 14 Mascherano
  • 16 Pereira dos Santos
  • 18 Alba
  • 31 El Haddadi

Deportivo de La Coruña

  • 13 Agosto Ramírez
  • 15 Sanabria Ruiz
  • 23 Lopo
  • 12 da Silva Junior
  • 03 Canella (Medunjanin – 39′ Booked )
  • 22 Borges
  • 04 Bergantiños García Booked
  • 17 Salomao
  • 10 Domínguez Lamas Booked (Riera Magem – 62′ )
  • 19 Cavaleiro
  • 07 Pérez Martínez (José Rodríguez – 86′ )

Substitutes

  • 01 Lux
  • 05 Insúa
  • 06 José Rodríguez
  • 08 Medunjanin
  • 09 Postiga
  • 21 Riera Magem
  • 32 Costa
Ref: Carlos Clos Gómez
Att: 93,743

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