Arsenal, Solskjaer, Met Police discuss Smalling incident

Date published: Monday 11th March 2019 8:06

A supporter who ran on to the pitch and appeared to push Chris Smalling during Arsenal’s home victory over Manchester United has been arrested, the Gunners have announced.

Following on from a Birmingham fan running on to the field and striking Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish earlier on Sunday, a sole pitch invader ran on after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s penalty had put Arsenal 2-0 ahead.

These f***ed-up fans are the footballing symptoms of a societal disease.

As he ran to celebrate with the players he appeared to make contact with United defender Smalling.

Arsenal announced after the game that the individual had since been arrested and is likely to face a lifetime ban from the Emirates Stadium as the club have a “zero tolerance” approach to such actions.

“We utterly condemn the behaviour of the individual who ran on to the pitch and approached Chris Smalling during today’s match,” said a spokesperson.

“We would like to apologise to Chris and Manchester United, and are pleased that [the spectator] was apprehended and arrested. We will be working closely with the Metropolitan Police in their investigation.

“The individual will also be banned from Arsenal matches home and away. Our matchday staff receive ongoing training on managing incidents such as this.”

Asked about the incident after the game, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer condemned the supporter.

“I didn’t see exactly what happened but there shouldn’t be a place that someone runs on to the pitch,” he said.

“It’s not nice to see, especially after Grealish. We’ll play football and they can watch us playing football. It’s one of those things that we don’t want to see.”

Metropolitan Police confirmed the arrest with a post on their Twitter feed.

It read: “A man has been arrested on suspicion of common assault and pitch invasion following an incident during the Arsenal v Man Utd game at the Emirates Stadium today. He is currently in custody at a north London police station.”

Unai Emery, the Arsenal head coach, also said it was something he did not want to see and called on all fans to show respect.

“I don’t want that, but it’s not in my control,” he said.

“I think we can enjoy this with every supporter and today I’m very proud of every supporter who helped us, but I think we need to do this with respect.”

An Arsenal club spokesman said: “We utterly condemn the behaviour of the individual who ran on to the pitch and approached Chris Smalling during today’s match.

“We would like to apologise to Chris and Manchester United, and are pleased that the individual was apprehended and arrested. We will be working closely with the Metropolitan Police in their investigation.

“The individual will also be banned from Arsenal matches home and away. Our matchday staff receive ongoing training on managing incidents such as this.”

 

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