Scottish Premier League

Fan dies after match abandoned

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Sun, 05 May 2013 21:55:00

Lionel Messi stepped off the bench to help Barcelona prevail in a six-goal thriller, while Sevilla remain in the hunt for European qualification.

Barcelona bounced back from their disappointing UEFA Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich with a 4-2 victory over Real Betis which has them sat 11 points clear at the top of the table and in need of just one more positive result to wrap up the Primera Liga title.

It appeared at one stage as if it would be another night to forget for the Catalan giants at Camp Nou, with Dorlan Pabon firing Betis in front less than two minutes in.

Barca offered a rapid response to falling behind, with Alexis Sanchez restoring parity with a close-range header.

Betis, though, were back in front two minutes before half-time when Ruben Perez crashed home from the edge of the box.

David Villa hauled the hosts level again on 56 minutes, and that was to be his last involvement as he made way for Messi. The mercurial Argentine required just three minutes to make his mark, curling home a sumptuous free-kick before going on to roll a second of the night into an empty net on 71 minutes to wrap up the points for Barca.

Sevilla kept their dreams of Europa League football alive for next season with a convincing 3-0 win over Espanyol, who tried their luck with a couple of wayward chances early on before Joan Capdevila handed the initiative to the home side with an 11th minute own-goal.

Sevilla midfielder Jesus Navas fired in a cross and Capdevila tried to make a block, but he ended up heading the ball into his own net from 12 yards out.

Andujar Coke then doubled the home side's lead after he linked up with Navas on the right, before Alvaro Negredo made the result safe in the 22nd minute when he slotted home Ivan Rakitic's assist.

Mallorca remain bottom of the table after only managing to draw 1-1 with Levante at home.

Real Zaragoza recorded back-to-back league wins for the first time this season as Rayo Vallecano succumbed meekly to a 3-0 setback at La Romareda.

The hosts' early pressure told after 25 minutes when Abraham's shot was harshly adjudged to have struck the hand of Jordi in the area and the referee pointed to the spot. Apono took the responsibility from 12 yards and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way.

Zaragoza needed only six minutes of the second period to extend their lead, Rodri snaffling up the rebound from close range after Helder Postiga had seen his header parried by Ruben.

Postiga was denied a goal when his header struck the post in the first minute of added time, but a third did arrive with seconds remaining when Apono fired in from 20 yards.

The man, aged in his 50s, collapsed with a suspected heart attack in Rugby Park's East Stand five minutes into the second half of Kilmarnock's home match against Hibs.

He was treated by paramedics and medical staff from both clubs before an ambulance drove pitchside to transfer him to nearby Crosshouse hospital.

The match was stopped by referee Kevin Clancy with the teams drawing 1-1 and the players left the pitch as the seriousness of the situation became clear.

Both managers agreed the match should be abandoned out of respect to the fan and his family.

A Police Scotland spokesman confirmed on Sunday night that the man died in hospital.

It is the third time in just over a year that a fan has been taken seriously ill at a Kilmarnock match.

In March 2012 the Ayrshire team's League Cup-winning celebrations were cut short by the death of midfielder Liam Kelly's father at the match.

Jack Kelly was rushed to hospital after Kilmarnock's victory over Celtic at Hampden but he died within hours of the final whistle.

A month later an Inverness fan collapsed and died midway through the second half of a game against Kilmarnock.

Speaking at the end of the game Killie manager Kenny Shiels said: "As you know we have been through that three times in just over a year. An Inverness fan lost his life and then Liam Kelly's father.

"Football is not as important as human life so we have shown our respect and hopefully everything turns out okay.

"I heard the supporters shouting to kick the ball out and then we have seen our medical team going across and we found out what it was.

"The fourth official came and told me we need to stop the game. It seems to be pretty serious, a heart attack we were told.

"We waited a while to see if they could bring him round and continue the game but obviously it was quite serious so Pat Fenlon (Hibernian manager) and I both agreed that the game should be abandoned."

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