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The best of Ousmane Dembélé has certainly emerged since Xavi Hernández took his seat in the Spotify Camp Nou dugout. And on Wednesday night, his winning goal against Real Sociedad was the perfect gift for his coach on his 43rd birthday.
Barça were creating plenty of chances, but none of them were converted until Dembélé squeezed the ball between Álex Remiro and the post to establish what would be a definitive 1-0 lead. That was the sixth goal of the season for a player who has been terrorising opposing defences on a weekly basis.
Since Xavi became coach, Dembélé has played 58 games in which he has scored 10 goals and delivered twice as many assists, 20. But he's been contributing in many more ways than that, including defensive duties too. Some might argue that 2022/23 is turning out to be his finest season yet.