EPL

Pitch invader arrested after Smalling push

By Sports Desk March 10, 2019

Police have arrested a man on suspicion of common assault and pitch invasion after he pushed Chris Smalling during Arsenal's win over Manchester United in the Premier League.

The fan ran across the Emirates Stadium turf and made contact with United defender Smalling following Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's conversion from the penalty spot.

Metropololitan Police confirmed the man is in custody at a north London police station.

A statement from an Arsenal spokesperson announced the club's intention to ban the individual.

It read: "We utterly condemn the behaviour of the individual who ran onto 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."

The incident occured just hours after Jack Grealish was punched by a pitch invader during the Championship clash between Aston Villa and Birmingham City at St Andrew's.

United captain Ashley Young, who was nearby when the spectator approached the celebrating Arsenal players, called on football's authorities to provide greater protection.

"What if they are carrying something? The players will be in danger," Young told beIN Sports.

"I think it's definitely somewthing the FA, the Premier League, FIFA [have to address]. I don't know whether it's extra stewarding or whatever.

"It's obviously a concern with the one earlier today and then the one on Chris. Something has got to be done."

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