Leeds United star Raphinha issues message and sets target after difficulty led to substitution against West Ham

Star winger Raphinha has issued an upbeat message after his withdrawal against West Ham, which was followed by late Leeds United heartache at Elland Road.

Sunday, 26th September 2021, 1:40 pm
Updated Sunday, 26th September 2021, 1:44 pm

Brazilian ace Raphinha fired United into a 19th-minute lead in Saturday's Premier League clash against the Hammers but the visitors equalised as a Jarrod Bowen strike deflected in off Junior Firpo in the 67th minute.

Raphinha was then substituted two minutes later after indicating to the Whites bench that it was becoming difficult for him to continue, having only just recovered from a hip injury suffered in last Friday's 1-1 draw at Newcastle United.

It meant Raphinha was once again taken off against the Hammers, replaced by Tyler Roberts, and Raphinha then looked on as Leeds suffered late heartache via West Ham's Michail Antonio bagging a 90th-minute winner.

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UPBEAT MESSAGE: From star Leeds United winger Raphinha, above, pictured celebrating his strike in Saturday's 2-1 defeat at home to West Ham. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

The defeat left Leeds third bottom and still seeking their first win of the 2021-22 Premier League campaign.

The Whites are now in the division's drop zone after six games played but both Raphinha and goalkeeper Illan Meslier have issued positive messages ahead of next Saturday's visit of 11th-placed Watford to Elland Road.

Writing on his Instagram page, Raphinha said: "We fight, but the result was not what we expected. Now we already focus on the next game."

Also writing on social media, Meslier said: "Disappointed with how yesterday ended but it's coming. We are Leeds."

Asked why Raphinha had been taken off against the Hammers, Whites head coach Bielsa said: "He let us know that it was becoming difficult to stay on the pitch.

"Throughout the whole week he was recovering from the knock he received against Newcastle.

"And he played a great game as long as he could stay on the field."

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Thank you Laura Collins