Early end to Barcelona's title celebrations after Espanyol fans invade pitch

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona players celebrating the team's Spanish league title success on Sunday had to leave in a hurry after Espanyol fans invaded the pitch and started running toward them.

A large group of Espanyol supporters from the ultra section behind one of the goals jumped onto the field and headed for the players who were singing and celebrating in the center.

Security guards quickly intervened to keep players and the club's officials safe. Some of the guards confronted the fans but were pushed back toward the tunnel. Riot police had to stand in front of the tunnel’s entrance with shields to prevent the fans from going in.

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The supporters threw chairs and other objects before dispersing without any other incidents.

Barcelona coach Xavi had tried to take his players into the locker room even before the fans' actions.

“It was a moment of celebration, euphoria, it was normal, but we were not in our home and at one point I felt that it was more respectful if we went back into the locker room,” he said.

Espanyol apologized for the incident at the Barcelona derby at the RCDE Stadium..

“We should always condemn violence, in all aspects of life,” Espanyol coach Luis García said. “Everything was done to try to keep this from happening but it wasn't possible.”

Barcelona won the match 4-2 to clinch its first league title since 2019 with four rounds remaining. The loss left Espanyol second-to-last.


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The Associated Press