10th March 2019,
Updated: 10th March 2019,
An Arsenal fan who ran onto the Emirates pitch and shoved Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has been arrested, the Gunners have announced.
The incident occurred shortly after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had converted a 69th-minute penalty to give the Gunners a 2-0 lead against United in their Premier League clash.
After taunting and pushing Smalling, the man ran with his arms aloft towards the Gunners players celebrating their goal.
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.
Smalling was not hurt and Arsenal stewards swiftly removed the man from the field of play.
The incident came just hours after Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish was punched in the face by a spectator during Villa’s 1-0 derby win over Birmingham City at St Andrew’s.
United legend Gary Neville, who was covering the game for Sky Sports, condemned the incident.
😠 – “You absolute numpty.”
Amid the celebrations of @Arsenal’s second goal, a fan has made his way onto the pitch and approaches Chris Smalling before heading to the Arsenal players! pic.twitter.com/rg4N78uwoq
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) March 10, 2019
He said: “We saw the fan coming on and going to Chris Smalling, you absolute numpty.”
Commentator Martin Tyler also criticised the pitch invaders and referenced the aforementioned incident earlier in the day involving Jack Grealish.
Arsenal won the game 2-0 in a result which lifts them up to fourth in the Premier League, ahead of United.
The Gunners could face a Football Association investigation as a result of the incident.