Barcelona players 'refused' Xavi Hernandez's orders after winning La Liga at rivals Espanyol
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Barcelona players 'refused' orders from manager Xavi Hernandez in their La Liga title celebrations away at rivals Espanyol.
The Blaugrana reclaimed the crown from Real Madrid at the home of neighbours Espanyol following a 4-2 victory at the RCDE Stadium.
Robert Lewandowski hit a brace, while Alejandro Balde and Jules Kounde were also on target before Espanyol scored two late consolation goals.
But Barca sealed a 27th La Liga title and a first since 2019 in emphatic fashion. Substitutes and coaches sprinted on the pitch to celebrate the triumph, with the squad gathering in a circle and singing 'CAMPEONES!'
And yet out of nowhere, some angry Espanyol supporters invaded the pitch and attempted to chase the Barca stars.
Barca players had to no choice but to abandon their celebrations and scarper, with new footage from the tunnel showing Marcos Alonso and Sergio Busquets shouting at security.
Barca knew a win would guarantee the title but Xavi has revealed he asked his players to celebrate inside as a mark of respect to Espanyol, while the Catalan police had also issued a warning beforehand.
The emotions clearly got the better of the squad and Espanyol fans were livid as a result.
"I have told them to stop inside because I think it is enough," Xavi said afterwards, as per Goal.
"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. 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."
Fortunately no player was hurt in the fracas, which led to riot police appearing on the scene and pushing Espanyol fans back as they hurled chairs and other objects.
Barca may have won the title in the backyard of their rivals but captain Busquets is set to lift it in front of their own supporters at the Nou Camp after the game against Real Sociedad on 20 May.