Why Raphinha was hauled off early in Leeds’ meeting with West Ham


Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa has provided an explanation for star attacker Raphinha being taken off early in his side’s meeting with West Ham United this afternoon.

Antonio bags winner

Bielsa and co. returned to Premier League action a short time ago.

After stuttering to just three points from an available fifteen across the opening weeks of 2021/22, the Whites welcomed West Ham to Elland Road, eyeing up a much-needed victory to kickstart their campaign.

When all was said and done, however, Leeds’ efforts, again, came up short.

The Peacocks did manage to take the lead in proceedings, when Raphinha directed home a typically pinpoint finish inside twenty minutes:

Raphinha celebrates his national team call-up with a smooth left-footed finish 🇧🇷

— DAZN Canada (@DAZN_CA) September 25, 2021

But West Ham soon wrestled back control, first levelling things up through a Junior Firpo own goal, before Michail Antonio turned the clash on its head to secure all three points with a late winner:

90th minute #SCENES as Michail Antonio wins it for West Ham! ⚒️🙌

The away fans are on the pitch at Elland Road! 😳#OptusSport #PL #LEEWHU

— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) September 25, 2021

Raph blow

The woes of Leeds, who have now slipped into the Premier League relegation zone, though, did not end with simply their latest damaging result on Saturday.

Additional concern spread upon star wide-man Raphinha, who looked one of few bright sparks throughout the action against West Ham, being hauled off midway through the 2nd-half, with the score locked at 1-1.

The Brazilian was subsequently spotted being strapped with an ice pack on the sideline, amid fresh worries over yet another injury blow in Marcelo Bielsa’s ranks.

Why Raphinha was hauled off early in Leeds’ meeting with West Ham

Leeds United’s Raphinha celebrates scoring their side’s third goal of the game during the Premier League match at Elland Road, Leeds. Picture date: Tuesday February 23, 2021. (Photo by Gareth Copley/PA Images via Getty Images)

In turn, speaking during his post-match media duties, the Leeds boss was inevitably drawn on what led to Raphinha being replaced by Tyler Roberts.

And the tactician went on to confirm that the 24-year-old himself asked to be taken out of the action, hinting that he has indeed picked up an injury of some form.

Adam Forshaw, meanwhile, is too facing a spell on the sidelines:

Raphinha indicated during the game that he needed to come off. Forshaw not in the squad today – he’s torn a leg muscle, Bielsa says. Probably looking at a month out but no real timeframe yet. #lufc

— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) September 25, 2021


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