16.12.2023 20:42 h

Luton game abandoned after player's cardiac arrest as Man City squander lead

Luton captain Tom Lockyer suffered a cardiac arrest that forced the abandonment of his team's Premier League match at Bournemouth on Saturday as Manchester City threw away a 2-0 lead against Crystal Palace.

Luton's game on the south coast was halted midway through the second half with the score at 1-1 as defender Lockyer received medical treatment before he was carried off to applause.

The Premier League confirmed the match had been abandoned and Luton later said the Wales international was in a stable condition in hospital.

"Our medical staff have confirmed that the Hatters captain suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch, but was responsive by the time he was taken off on the stretcher," the club said in a statement.

"He received further treatment inside the stadium, for which we once again thank the medical teams from both sides. Tom was transferred to hospital, where we can reassure supporters that he is stable and currently undergoing further tests, with his family at his bedside."

The 29-year-old had heart surgery after collapsing during Luton's Championship play-off final win against Coventry in late May.

He returned to action for the start of the new season and had made 15 appearances so far in all competitions before Saturday's match.

The Wales national team posted on X, formerly known as Twitter: "Our thoughts are with Tom Lockyer."

The incident in Bournemouth overshadowed a dramatic game at the Etihad, where champions City were cruising towards victory before conceding two late goals.

Palace have been something of a bogey team for City boss Pep Guardiola since he arrived in England in 2016 -- they are one of only three teams to have won at the Etihad more than once, along with Manchester United and Chelsea.

City, without injured top-scorer Erling Haaland, enjoyed nearly three-quarters of possession in the first half but had only Jack Grealish's goal to show for their dominance.

They seemed destined to move to within one point of Premier League leaders Liverpool, who face Manchester United on Sunday, when Rico Lewis thumped the ball into the bottom left corner in the 54th minute.

But Palace scored against the run of play to give themselves hope in the 76th minute when Jeffrey Schlupp shrugged off the attentions of the City defence and crossed for Jean-Philippe Mateta to poke home.

And the home fans watched in horror when referee Paul Tierney pointed to the penalty spot after Phil Foden fouled Mateta.

Michael Olise made no mistake, slotting home in the 95th minute to make it 2-2 and boos rang around the Etihad at the final whistle.

City, who now head to the Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia, have won just one of their past six Premier League games and risk falling off the pace.

"We gave away two points," Guardiola told the BBC. "We had a good performance. We controlled the transitions really well and made a lot of set pieces but Crystal Palace's second goal cannot happen at this level.

"We took bad decisions in the 18-yard box and we were punished."

Hodgson said patience was the key for his side, who have not won in the Premier League since early November.

"They're going to have the ball a lot more than you and if you start trying to take chances and attack them too early, then they're going to cut through you," he said.

"As it happens, we got to 2-1 which gave us some hope I suppose and we then thought, we'll take a few chances now and we will have a go at it and luckily it paid off for us."

Michael Keane and Amadou Onana scored as Everton won their fourth straight league game, beating struggling Burnley 2-0 to lift themselves seven points clear of the relegation zone -- just a month after they were docked 10 points for breaking financial rules.

Chelsea beat bottom club Sheffield United 2-0 to register just their third home league win of the season, thanks to goals from Cole Palmer and Nicolas Jackson.

Newcastle claimed all three points against 10-man Fulham at their St James' Park stronghold, with 17-year-old Lewis Miley among the scorers in a 3-0 win.