Xavi’s Barcelona task made yet more difficult as Coutinho controversy revealed after Celta clash

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Barcelona Coutinho

 

The uphill task facing incoming FC Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has been made to look ever more daunting on Saturday evening.

Aspas at the death

The Blaugrana were back in La Liga action earlier today.

After picking up just a solitary point from an available nine across the club’s last three outings, Barca made the trip to the Estadio de Balaidos, eyeing a return to winning ways in a meeting with Celta Vigo.

And, with a little over half an hour played on Saturday, Sergi Barjuan’s men looked well on their way to precisely that.

An explosive opening to proceedings, remarkably, saw the visitors surge out to a 3-goal advantage – courtesy of Ansu Fati, Sergio Busquets and Memphis Depay – with time to spare before the interval:

A twist, however, remained in the tale…

After Iago Aspas’ effort shortly after the interval was added to by Nolito ten minutes from time, Celta secured for themselves a share of the spoils in the most spectacular fashion imaginable.

With essentially the last kick of the game, deep into a sixth minute of injury-time, Aspas bent a sumptuous left-footed effort inside the far post, sending Balaidos into rapturous celebrations, and breaking Barcelona hearts in the process:

Coutinho concern

As outlined above, though, the devastating nature of their collapse versus Celta actually proved only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Barcelona’s woes on Saturday.

First, the Blaugrana were left to deal with a triple blow on the personnel front, as all of Ansu Fati, Eric Garcia and Nico Gonzalez were forced into premature departures from proceedings.

Then, in the matchup’s aftermath, yet another alarming development was revealed, surrounding struggling attacker Philippe Coutinho.

As per a report from reliable Spanish outlet Esport3, Brazilian attacker Coutinho, after being sent out to warm up during the 2nd-half of action, made clear that he did not want to be introduced to proceedings.

This comes according to several journalists in attendance at Balaidos, as the uphill task facing incoming manager Xavi continues to mount.

 

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