Barcelona coach Xavi reveals dressing room had to calm down raging player after penalty controversy

Barcelona coach Xavi has disclosed that Raphinha was fuming after being denied a penalty and needed to be calmed down by the club’s staff.

The Blaugrana traveled to Celta Vigo for their La Liga matchday eight clash on Sunday night (October 9). Barcelona starlet Pedri scored the only goal of the match in the 17th minute to secure a narrow 1-0 win over Vigo. With the victory, the Catalans moved to the top of the table, edging out second-place Real Madrid on goal difference.

Although the Catalans came away with maximum points, they could have won by a healthier margin had the referee awarded them a penalty in the first half. Barca winger Raphinha was seemingly obstructed by Javi Galan inside the box, but the referee refused to point to the spot. VAR also took a look at the incident and cleared it. The Brazilian forward was left angry after being denied the penalty and supposedly carried the mood to the dressing room.

In a post-match interview, Xavi revealed that Raphinha was furious with the referee at half-time and it required an intervention from the staff to calm him down. He said (via Barca Universal):

“We had to calm Raphinha down in the dressing room. He was very mad with the referee, and told me it was a clear penalty.”

Raphinha, who joined Barcelona from Leeds United in the summer transfer window, has featured in eight La Liga games thus far, recording one goal and an assist.

Xavi calls for Barcelona to get Robert Lewandowski more involved in the game

New Barcelona recruit Robert Lewandowski was below his best against Celta on Sunday, lodging only one shot on target. It also marked the first time he went without scoring in back-to-back games in the 2022-23 season.

Xavi has expressed his desire to see Lewandowski more involved, urging his team to make it happen. In his post-match presser, he stated (via Barca Universal):

“We need to get Lewandowski more involved in the game.”

He later added:

“Lewandowski was uncomfortable in the second half; frustrated because the team did not find solutions. I still think he played a good game.”

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