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La Liga: FC Barcelona 2-2 Deportivo La Coruna: Match Review

A recap of Barcelona's final day draw with Deportivo La Coruna at the Camp Nou

David Ramos/Getty Images

FC Barcelona ended their La Liga campaign with a draw, as a spirited fight-back from Deportivo La Coruna saw the visitors claw their way out of oblivion and secure their status in the top-flight with a 2-2 draw. For what it was, this was a fine match of football as Barça entertained in spells while providing Xavi with the send-off he deserved courtesy of a sublime banner and pre-match mosaic and a subsequent standing ovation as he was subbed off with minutes left to play. In short, everyone left the match feeling happy – and isn’t that what tonight was all about?






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With the La Liga title secure, the focus of tonight’s match was solely on Xavi Hernández, as the Catalan legend made his final start for the club against relegation-threatened Deportivo La Coruna. The visitors entered the match knowing that a defeat could consign them to the Segunda Division, but even with Barça rotating some key names, there was still a lot of quality in Luis Enrique’s starting line-up.

Of course, Xavi captained the side but he was also joined in by Lionel Messi and Neymar, while some fringe players like Thomas Vermaelen and Jordi Masip made rare appearances. Adriano Correia started at right-back, denying Dani Alves one final La Liga appearance, while the continued absence of Luis Suarez enabled Pedro to start in attack, possibly for the last time as well if exit rumours are to be believed.

Could Barça give Xavi the send-off he deserved, or would SuperDepor spoil the party?


Less than five minutes in, and we had our answer. Deportivo had set out to frustrate the Blaugrana, but equally there was a reason why they were languishing towards the bottom of the table with the future in jeopardy – they aren’t very good. And so, when Barça launched their first counter-attack of the match through Lionel Messi, the visitors’ backline was at sixes and sevens. Messi picked out the run of Jeremy Mathieu, who selflessly attempted to square the ball to Pedro only for Depor to make a partial clearance as far as Rafinha Alcantara.

The Brazilian had Lionel Messi crying out for the cutback, but he drove to the byline and clipped a cross to the back-post instead where Messi had drifted into space to apply the finish. Five minutes on the clock, the champions were already ahead, Eibar were also in the lead against Cordoba and Almeria had scored against Valencia. As things stood, this was going to be a very, very bad night for Deportivo...

They threatened to actually get worse as well if you can believe it, although lady luck while cruel to Depor in many ways was occasionally lending a helping hand. For instance, as badly as things were going for Deportivo they should have really been two goals behind as a through pass from Neymar setup a glorious goal for Lionel Messi – only for the assistant referee to incorrectly flag for offside.

Barça wouldn’t let that spoil their fun though; Neymar in particular was making the most of the party atmosphere to try a few tricks and flicks – including a sensational overhead kick that was routinely saved by Fabricio in the Deportivo goal. Heck, if that doesn’t outline just how comfortable this match was for us, I don’t know what will.

Fabricio’s finest moment of the first-half however had to be his spectacular double save to deny Lionel Messi and Pedro – as he dived to one side to keep out a trademark effort from the edge of the area from the Argentine before somehow sprawling to keep out Pedro’s tap-in. It was probably the only real moment of note, outside of the goal(s) in the first period. Barça were in cruise control and easing to their 31st victory of the season.


We were treated to much of the same after the interval; Barça had all the ball and were having all the fun, although they really weren’t in much of a rush to push their advantage and emphasis their superiority. If the goals came, then so be it – we weren’t forcing anything today, just playing it cool and trying to give Xavi the send-off he deserved.

As a consequence, this was a match devoid of any real intensity – a real exhibition as Depor were somewhat resigned to their fate. That being said, when Barça created a real chance they took it; Pedro’s flick-on played Neymar clean through on goal and the Brazilian selflessly squared the ball to Lionel Messi for a tap-in into an empty net. Goal number 56 of the season for Messi and now the three points really were secure.

Enter Douglas for Thomas Vermaelen, and then something strange happened...Deportivo tried to mount a comeback.

Marc Bartra was off the field nursing a blow to his face and Depor took advantage of their temporary numerical superiority to cut the ball back to Lucas Perez. With Sergi Roberto covering in central defense, there was no-one at pivote to close Perez down and with time and space to think, the man born in A Coruna gave his side a lifeline with a fine curling effort into the corner of Masip’s net.

Bartra couldn’t continue, or rather wasn’t allowed to continue by the medical team and Javier Mascherano was his replacement at the expense of Munir El Haddadi who had been ready to enter the fray until Bartra took his knock.

Barça probably should have added a third and put the game to bed again when Neymar toyed with Fabricio and Xavi tried a nonchalant chip on goal; alas, it was almost like the football gods knew that we weren’t really trying – and they weren’t prepared to reward our complacency.

Deportivo on the other hand kept on fighting. A shot from Oriol Riera was blocked on the edge of the area by Jeremy Mathieu and the referee awarded a free-kick for handball. It was the correct decision and while the free-kick itself and the follow-up effort were both poor, Deportivo were fortunate enough to have a third stab at goal. This time Salomao swung his left boot at it and the visiting fans, including their club president who as sat beside Josep Maria Bartomeu in the VIP area, could scarcely believe it as the ball arrowed into the corner of the net.

Against all the odds, they had come from two goals behind at the home of the La Liga champions to possibly secure a draw that would keep them in the top flight. They were happy, Barça were indifferent and sure, they tried to get a winner but really, they weren’t concerned. The objective of today was to say goodbye to Xavi, and Luis Enrique gave the Camp Nou crowd one more opportunity to voice their appreciation for the captain.

Substituted off to a standing ovation with the 93,000 strong crowd in attendance chanting his name...Xavi was emotional, and I’m sure he wasn’t the only one. We were all fighting back the tears as we saw what might be the final glimpse of a true legend plying their trade for this club.

Gracies Xavi, and please, don’t stay away for too long.

Roll Call Info
Total comments 682
Total commenters 50
Commenter list A.E. Içkeru, A.J.Khan, Abhishek-Culé, Anders Thomassen, AngelCul1, Anirudh_Kul, AraibKarim, BarcaBarca, BarcaLifer, Catalan_Blood, ChalkLitIScream, CoolCulé, CriRo7, Daxterflames, Delano Heerkens, KiwiBarca, Lapulga, LocoZZZ, Luis Mazariegos, MessiForPresident, Piszin, Ragnar_Lothbrok, Rajesh1101s, Romesh Srivastava, Ron10, Ruy Diaz, Shaco, Som-i-Serem, Steven Cordero, StoichkovTheDagger, Swn.Culé, Varungrover, ViscaViscaBarca, Yuro_Doosh, ade fox, barca4life1273, craig00000, defeaning_silence, footballfordoze, jithen, luck-ycoltsfan19, nahmynameisantoine, navjot.kasukurthy, nolet, oddsbodiSkins, robyn_bird96, shubham2806, uday kakoti, vireyda, waseem10
Story URLs
# Commenter # Comments
1 ade fox 84
2 Delano Heerkens 71
3 Anirudh_Kul 60
4 craig00000 51
5 Anders Thomassen 45
6 Yuro_Doosh 38
7 Som-i-Serem 34
8 AngelCul1 28
9 Ruy Diaz 23
10 A.J.Khan 23
11 shubham2806 21
12 robyn_bird96 21
13 defeaning_silence 20
14 KiwiBarca 17
15 Ragnar_Lothbrok 14
16 AraibKarim 12
17 footballfordoze 11
18 Abhishek-Culé 11
19 Rajesh1101s 10
20 luck-ycoltsfan19 9
21 vireyda 8
22 BarcaLifer 7
23 BarcaBarca 7
24 Catalan_Blood 6
25 Romesh Srivastava 5
26 LocoZZZ 5
27 CriRo7 4
28 oddsbodiSkins 4
29 Swn.Culé 3
30 navjot.kasukurthy 3
31 nahmynameisantoine 3
32 uday kakoti 2
33 StoichkovTheDagger 2
34 nolet 2
35 A.E. Içkeru 2
36 ViscaViscaBarca 2
37 Daxterflames 1
38 Luis Mazariegos 1
39 waseem10 1
40 CoolCulé 1
41 Steven Cordero 1
42 Piszin 1
43 Varungrover 1
44 Ron10 1
45 Shaco 1
46 jithen 1
47 Lapulga 1
48 MessiForPresident 1
49 ChalkLitIScream 1
50 barca4life1273 1

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