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European football: Barcelona beat Sevilla in bittersweet farewell for Xavi



Barcelona ended the season with a 2-1 victory at Sevilla in La Liga on Sunday, making Xavi Hernández’s farewell bittersweet after a trophyless season in which they finished 10 points behind Real Madrid.

The final game for Xavi, who was sacked on Friday, leaves Barça second after a disappointing campaign in which they lost the Spanish Super Cup final to Real Madrid and were knocked out of the Champions League by Paris Saint-Germain in the last eight.

“I don’t think the work has been appreciated enough,” said Xavi. “A double last year [La Liga and Super Cup] and this year we haven’t been up to the task because of details. I leave with some mixed feelings because the work is positive even though we didn’t win the titles this season. I think we were on the right track and I still think so.”

Barça took the lead in the 15th minute through Robert Lewandowski, who scored from close range after latching on to João Cancelo’s cross. Sevilla levelled with Youssef En-Nesyri’s strike in the 31st minute and went close again but failed to beat Marc-André ter Stegen before the visitors got a winner on the hour through Fermín López.

Frosinone were relegated from Serie A after they lost 1-0 at home to Udinese, and Empoli scored a stoppage-time winner through M’Baye Niang to prevail 2-1 against visiting Roma on Sunday. Relegation-threatened Udinese beat Frosinone with a late Keinan Davis goal, sealing their opponents’ fate, as Empoli maintained their top-flight status thanks to Niang with their fans pouring on to the pitch at the end.

Frosinone finished a point behind Empoli and joined Salernitana and Sassuolo in dropping down to Serie B. The champions, Internazionale, drew 2-2 at Verona in their final game thanks to a Marko Arnautovic double.

Empoli players and fans celebrate after M’baye Niang’s late goal. Photograph: Gabriele Menis/EPA

Napoli lost their slim chances to participate in European competitions next season when they were held to a 0-0 home draw by Lecce in their last game of the campaign. Last season’s champions finished 10th on 53 points, level with ninth-placed Torino, who were beaten 3-0 at Atalanta.

Despite their loss, Torino can now still earn a Europa Conference League playoff spot if eighth-placed Fiorentina, who have a game in hand, win the Europa Conference League. The Europa League winners, Atalanta, secured at least fourth spot after Gianluca Scamacca, Ademola Lookman and Mario Pasalic were all on target.

Galatasaray secured a 24th Turkish title with a 3-1 victory at Konyaspor, ending the season three points above Fenerbahce.

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Mauro Icardi scored twice and Berkan Kutlu added a third in Galatasaray’s victory in Konya, igniting celebrations among their fans. The two Istanbul clubs were head and shoulders above the other Superlig teams this term, with Galatasaray ending on 102 points and Fenerbahce, who thrashed Istanbulspor 6-0, on 99. Third-placed Trabzonspor have 67 points after a 4-2 home victory against Ankaragucu.

Club Brugge completed a late surge to the Belgian title as a goalless draw at home to neighbours Cercle Brugge ensured them a sixth championship in the last nine seasons.

The draw allowed Club Brugge to finish one point ahead of Union Saint-Gilloise and four ahead of Anderlecht, who both had hopes of winning the championship on the last day of the season. Club Brugge ended with 50 points with Union on 49 after they won 2-0 away at Genk but Anderlecht lost 3-1 away at last season’s champions, Royal Antwerp, and ended on 46.

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