Madrid: Newcomer Vitor Roque scored the only goal of the game in which FC Barcelona beat Osasuna 1-0 at home on Wednesday night.
The win came four days after Xavi Hernandez announced he would step down as Barca coach at the end of the season. If Xavi was hoping to provoke a reaction from his players, he would have been disappointed by another flat display, with only one decisive moment.
Only five minutes into the game, Ferran Torres suffered an apparent hamstring injury and the club’s second top scorer had to be replaced by Fermin Lopez, reports Xinhua.
Robert Lewandowski headed an Ilkay Gundogan free kick wide after 10 minutes, and the Polish striker was close to getting on the end of a Joao Cancelo cross shortly afterwards, but Osasuna defended well. Barca controlled more of the ball in the closing minutes of the first half, but neither keeper had to make a save in the first 45 minutes.
The second half was little different, with Barca having sterile control of the game but being unable to create chances.
In the 62nd minute, Xavi replaced Fermin with new signing Roque.
Roque had only been on the pitch for just over a minute when he was able to get ahead of Osasuna keeper Aitor Fernandez to flick home Cancelo’s cross and put Barca ahead.
Four minutes later, Osasuna were down to 10 men when Unai Garcia saw a second yellow card for hauling down Roque. IANS