A spectator who ran onto the pitch at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium on Sunday and appeared to push Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has been arrested on suspicion of common assault, police said.
The man ran onto the pitch after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored from the penalty spot to put Arsenal 2-0 in front against United in the second half of their 2-0 win.
He then ran towards the celebrating Arsenal players before being removed from the playing area by stewards.
“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,” a Metropolitan Police statement on Twitter said.
The statement added that the man was in custody at a police station in North London.
An Arsenal spokesman said the club condemned the behaviour of the pitch invader and apologised to Smalling and United.
“We will be working closely with the Metropolitan Police in their investigation,” the spokesman added. “The individual will also be banned from Arsenal matches, home and away.”
“I didn’t see exactly what happened but there shouldn’t be a place in the game where someone runs on to the pitch,” United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said. “It’s not nice to see. It’s one of those thing that we don’t want.”
“I don’t want that, but it’s not in my control,” Arsenal manager Unai Emery added. “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.
Earlier on Sunday, Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish was punched in the back of the head by a spectator who ran onto the pitch during Villa’s derby match at Birmingham City.
Villa’s 1-0 win at St. Andrews was barely 10 minutes old when a fan came onto the field of play and approached Grealish.
The fan swung a punch from behind and caught the Villa player, who fell to the ground. A steward managed to restrain the supporter and marched him off the pitch.
West Midlands police later confirmed the supporter had been arrested, while Grealish went on to score the decisive goal as Villa won 1-0.