Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez clashed with Villarreal coaching staff at the end of Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Yellow Submarine at the Estadio de la Cerámica in La Liga.
The 41-year-old was spotted engaging in a heated and frank exchange after the full-time whistle blew and secured Barcelona’s first away win of the season in the Spanish top flight.
Xavi was seen waving his index finger at Villarreal coach Unai Emery as the two teams made their way to the dressing rooms after the game and confronted assistant coach Imanol Idiakez.
Journalist Emilio Pérez de Rozas told Marca that Emery angered Xavi by commenting, “As always, they give it to you, they give it to you.”
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Controversy At Villarreal
There were several controversial incidents during the game, including a handball claim against Barcelona defender Gerard Pique that was not given, as shown by journalist Jose Luis Sanchez.
Meanwhile, Barcelona captain Sergio Busquets was the victim of a very heavy challenge from Dani Parejo in the opening minutes. The Spaniard required several minutes of treatment but Parejo escaped without even receiving a booking.
The tension between the two coaching teams saw the police forced to intervene to separate the two parties in the tunnel on their way to the locker room, according to Marca.
Villarreal were also upset by Xavi and his coaching staff’s “euphoric” celebrations at securing the victory. Barca’s Twitter account showed the team going wild on the touchline.
Barcelona opening goal also contained a degree of controversy. Midfielder Frenkie de Jong tapped home from close range three minutes after half-time but the goal was originally chalked off for offside.
However, the goal was eventually given after a lengthy VAR check showed that Memphis Depay was just onside before De Jong converted.
Villarreal equalized through substitute Samuel Chukwueze and looked set to deny Barcelona victory. However, Barca snatched all three points thanks to late goals from Memphis Depay and a Philippe Coutinho penalty.
Xavi Reacts to Barcelona’s Win
Saturday’s win means Barca have won two league games in a row for the first time this season. Xavi offered his thoughts after the match and was well aware his team rode their luck at times, as reported by Mundo Deportivo.
“We dominated less than I expected but in the end we found the goal with Memphis,” he said. “We have played against a great team and we have defended well but they have scored from a silly throw-in. They are three golden points. You also have to be lucky. Villarreal did not deserve to lose.”
Xavi also tried to explain the little spat at the end of the game and said he had been waiting for a handshake from opposite number Unai Emery which did not arrive. He explained, “I was expecting Emery’s greeting at the end, I don’t understand the anger but they are things that happen.”
Barca’s win moves the Catalan giants into seventh place in the table and continues Xavi’s unbeaten start to life as first-team coach. The team is back in action on Saturday, 4 December against Real Betis at the Camp Nou in La Liga.