La Liga club Espanyol have condemned the action of dozens of Pericos ultras who stormed onto the pitch to cut short the party from FC Barcelona.
The incident happened after the final whistle of Sunday´s match, which saw the Blaugranas crowned La Liga champions after a 4-2 victory – a win which makes Espanyol’s relegation battle even harder.
But as the Barca players celebrated, Espanyol fans invaded the pitch, which led to police forming a barrier to allow players to get back into the dressing room.
Barcelona players in the tunnel after Espanyol fans rushed the pitch. pic.twitter.com/i4GcM6JwSq
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Following the incident at the RCDE Stadium, Espanyol issued a statement. It said: “RCD Espanyol regrets the isolated incidents that occurred at the end of the match played at our stadium.
“Like ‘pericos’, the defeat hurts us, but we will never accept violence, however residual it may be.
“On the other hand, we want to thank all the supporters who have encouraged us today and throughout the season despite the sporting results.
“As we have always done, RCD Espanyol shows its categorical rejection of any type of violence in the world of football and will use all the resources at our disposal to eradicate it, showing, as always, full collaboration with the Security Forces in whatever they require.”
After the players returned to the dressing room, the pitch invasion continued for around 10 minutes with Espanyol fans expressing their frustration at the club´s performance this season.
Later, at the post-press conference, Barca manager Xavi Hernandez responded to the questions about the situation with the Espanyol fans and the celebration of his team.
He said: “I thought the celebration was normal, but there was a moment when it was respectful to go to the dressing rooms. It’s difficult to control and I have told the players that it was better to get us inside.”
Espanyol´s defeat against Barca leaves the club in a delicate situation. With only four games left to wrap up the season, they are four points away from Real Valladolid who are just above the regulation zone with 35 points.