Barcelona coach Xavi happy Dembele applauded (eventually) by home support

Barcelona coach Xavi was happy the home fans eventually applauded Ousmane Dembele at the end of their 1-1 draw with Europa League opponents Napoli.

The French forward, who is expected to depart the club in summer on a free transfer, put in a solid display for Barcelona and fans applauded him as he was a constant threat to Napoli after coming on.

“Fans have not paid attention to me, but in the end [whistles] have turned into applause,” Xavi said after the duel.

“We have already whistled at him and that’s it, it’s over. The news is that the whistles have turned into applause.”

Xavi also stood by Ferran Torres, who equalised from the spot but burst into tears when the game was over after wasting a few clear-cut chances throughout the 90 minutes.

“We were just making a comparison in the dressing room,” noted Xavi.

“It [also] happened to Luis Suarez, who seemed to be struggling to score. The Barcelona shirt weighs a few kilos more. But I am delighted to have [Torres] in the team and he will give [us] a lot of joy.

“If he is in the area, it is because he will score. He could score all his life and he will. In training he is one of those who scores the most. He has our absolute confidence. He has to just put it behind him.

“It will not affect him. I will take care of this, the staff [will do so too]. He is very strong, self-demanding.”

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