Barcelona star Raphinha apologises for punching chair after Xavi subbed him off against Man Utd - but coach says it's normal

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Raphinha slammed the back of Barcelona team-mate Marcos Alonso's chair after being subbed in Thursday's match against Manchester United.
  • Raphinha issued apology
  • Says he didn't mean harm
  • Xavi not upset with him

WHAT HAPPENED? Raphinha expressed his displeasure towards Xavi after being substituted in the final 10 minutes of Barcelona's Europa League contest against Manchester United on Thursday. He didn't properly address his manager and went on to punch the seat in front of him in the dugout. Meanwhile, his replacement, Ferran Torres, struggled to impact the game in his stead.

Raphinha has since apologised, though Xavi said he didn't need to do so.

WHAT THEY SAID: "I've spoken to Xavi," Raphinha said after the match. "I take this opportunity to apologize to everyone, the coach, Ferran, the team and the fans, but sometimes you want to help so badly that you can't control it."

AND WHAT'S MORE: Xavi defended Raphinha, despite his antics. He told BT Sport: "That is normal, this is football. I say to the players that they have to be angry. The problem is when they don't have attitude on the pitch and the attitude of Raphinha is amazing."

Later, the coach told reporters that “Raphinha has apologised to me but he didn't have to. I see it as positive that everyone wants to play."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Raphinha scored Barca's second goal in a thrilling 2-2 draw at Camp Nou. The former Leeds winger was the Blaugrana's most impactful attacking option for most of proceedings.


Raphinha Barcelona Manchester United 202-23

WHAT NEXT FOR RAPHINHA? The winger will hope to retain his place in the side as Barca play Cadiz in La Liga on Sunday.