‘We were not at home’ - Xavi told Barcelona players to celebrate inside ‘out of respect’ after jubilant scenes sparked invasion from rival Espanyol ultras
- Xavi asked players to celebrate indoors
- Espanyol fans invaded pitch
- Barca beat Espanyol to win 27th league title
WHAT HAPPENED? The former Spain international won his second title as Barcelona manager after his club beat rivals Espanyol 4-2 in the Catalan derby. After winning their 27th La Liga title on Sunday, the Barcelona players briefly celebrated in the middle of the playing area, which sparked anger among a section of Espanyol fans who invaded the pitch and forced the away team to rush towards their dressing room.
Xavi suggested after the game that he had asked his players to take the celebrations indoors as it was not their home and it was not respectful towards the home fans.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to reporters, the Barcelona boss said, "I have told them to stop inside because I think it is enough. The celebration is normal, but it was respectful to go to the booth because we were not at home. I am rational. But emotions are difficult to control. We celebrated it not because we were in Espanyol's camp but for the title. We're not at home.
"I haven't seen if anything else has happened, I've gone inside. We shouldn't give it more importance. We shouldn't create controversy. I thought it was time to go in, there was We have to celebrate it inside as a family. We haven't provoked anyone. We were celebrating a League that is very important to us."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: On a day when Barcelona were crowned the champions of Spain, their local rivals Espanyol find themselves on the verge of getting relegated from the top division. They are currently 19th on the league table with 31 points from 34 matches, with their ire visible in the chaotic scenes after the final whistle.
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WHAT NEXT FOR BARCELONA? The Catalan giants will be next seen in action in La Liga on May 20 when they take on Real Sociedad.