Xavi defends Espanyol fans after pitch invasion

Xavi Hernandez (C) | Imago

Xavi defends Espanyol fans after pitch invasion

Faruq Ibrahim 23:31 - 14.05.2023

Xavi Hernandez talks about the Espanyol pitch invasion after Barcelona won LaLiga.

Barcelona were crowned champions of LaLiga today after they defeated Espanyol 4-2 at Cornella El-Prat, the stadium of their bitter local rivals.  

Following the final whistle, Barcelona players and staff took to the centre of the pitch to celebrate, sparking protest from Los Pericos fans, who took to the pitch in droves to let their displeasure known.

When asked about the incident, the Barcelona boss took an empathetic stance, suggesting his players should not have celebrated at the RCDE stadium as it was an away ground, and worse, that of their rivals. 

The match in brief 

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As early as the 11th minute of the game, Robert Lewandowski gave Barcelona the lead before Alejandro Balde, who had also contributed to the opening goal, finished off a Pedri cross to make it 2-0. 

With five minutes left until halftime, the Polish forward made it three for Barcelona before Jules Kounde made it four.  

The Blaugrana subsequently conceded two goals, one each from Joselu and Javi Puado, in the 73rd and 92nd minutes. 

What Xavi said

The former Al-Sadd coach had already gone into the dressing room before the ruckus and said he had warned the players against celebrating on the pitch as they were not at Camp Nou.

Xavi thought they had to respect Espanyol; however, he was cautious about reprimanding his team, saying it was difficult not to celebrate after 10 months of hard work. 

"We weren't at home; we have to have respect for Espanyol,” Xavi said, per Relevo.

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