Manchester City have issued an apology after Aston Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen was attacked when thousands of City fans invaded the pitch to celebrate their Premier League title win.
Pep Guardiola’s side produced a stunning comeback from 2-0 down to beat Villa and see off Liverpool in another thrilling title race.
At the final whistle, hoards of City fans ran onto the pitch to celebrate and Olsen was struck on the back of the head as the fans invade the pitch.
Aston Villa’s Robin Olsen was attacked when thousands of Man City fans invaded the pitch
City fans could not hide their delight as they ran onto the pitch after the title was secured
Police and stewards did all they could to keep the crowd contained but they ultimately failed
Thousands of City fans managed to get onto the pitch immediately after the full-time whistle
ENGLISH FOOTBALL’S WEEK OF SHAME
Huddersfield fans run on to the pitch at the John Smith’s Stadium after beating Luton to reach the Championship play-off final. Luton boss Nathan Jones calls some of them ‘an absolute disgrace’ after he and his team are abused and goaded by Terriers supporters.
Thousands of Nottingham Forest fans invade the pitch at the City Ground, following their play-off semi-final win against Sheffield United on penalties. United’s Billy Sharp is headbutted by a Forest fan who is later jailed for assault.
Two Northampton fans run on to the pitch, throw a flare and confront Mansfield Town striker Jordan Bowery during their play-off semi-final defeat at Sixfields.
Everton secure their Premier League status with a comeback win over Crystal Palace. Thousands of fans stream on to the pitch. One approaches and taunts Palace manager Patrick Vieira, who then kicks out at him.
After their play-off semi-final win, Port Vale fans invade the pitch and appear to physically and verbally abuse Swindon Town players. Swindon manager Ben Garner says, ‘I don’t know where we’re going as a country, it’s absolutely disgusting.’
Manchester City apologised to Robin Olsen and vowed to indefinitely ban the fan who attacked Aston Villa’s goalkeeper during Sunday’s pitch invasion.
Thousands were on the Etihad Stadium turf after wrapping up the Premier League title and Villa boss Gerrard says goalkeeper Olsen was hurt.
City swiftly released a statement apologising to Olsen.
In response, City swiftly released a statement saying: ‘Manchester City would like to sincerely apologise to Aston Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen, who was assaulted after the final whistle at today’s match when fans entered the pitch.
‘The Club has launched an immediate investigation and once identified, the individual responsible will be issued with an indefinite stadium ban.’
Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard was asked whether his players made it off the pitch safely in his post-match press conference.
He replied: ‘The answer is no. My goalkeeper was attacked. I think those questions should go to Pep and Manchester City.’
Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville said: ‘All of a sudden in these last few weeks and months we’ve got these idiots not just running on the pitch, which to be fair is a problem, but actually if you’re attacking players then what the hell are you doing?
‘They’re delirious, they’ve won the league, I get that. But attacking opposition players on the pitch? Where has this come from? It’s absolutely ridiculous.’
City manager Pep Guardiola admitted the incident had been the low point of the day.
Guardiola said: ‘I’m so sorry on behalf of the club to Olsen and Aston Villa.
‘I don’t think there were intentions, but the emotions of people there, it’s always difficult to understand why people respond in that way and cannot celebrate themselves and not do these kind of things. Hopefully we can discover who the person was and he’ll be punished.
‘I don’t know how (to stop it). You cannot put 1,000 guards to control all the people there. We are so sorry. It’s the bad news of today.’
City’s title triumph reduced Guardiola to tears as he secured his fourth title in five years following a dramatic late comeback to beat Aston Villa 3-2.
But the Spanish boss then asked fans to leave the pitch to ensure his players could enjoy the celebrations safely and for staff at the Etihad to set up the trophy lifting display.
Guardiola’s side were far from their best and on a tense afternoon and trailed 2-0 with 20-minutes left thanks to goals from Matty Cash and Philippe Coutinho.
But a sensational five-minute rally saw City take control and complete an incredible turnaround.
Ilkay Gundogan – on his final appearance for City – scored twice and Rodri added another to send the Etihad into raptures.
Supporters were hanging on goalposts and one even shattered as fans climbed all over them
Pep Guardiola could not hide his delight at full time as Manchester City retained the title
Thousands of City fans invaded the pitch with banners and flares at the final whistle to celebrate of their title defence after a hard-fought battle with Liverpool who were 3-1 winners over Wolves.
One of the crossbars were broken in the melee and City stars Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne had to be escorted off the pitch as a cluster of fans approached.
City’s is the latest in a long line of pitch invasions that have have shrouded English football in recent weeks.
Everton fans invaded the turf at Goodison Park on Thursday night with Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira goaded – leading to him lashing out at a fan.
Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp was attacked following his side’s penalty shootout defeat to Nottingham Forest in the Championship play-off semi-final.
Sharp was headbutted and required stitches for a headwound leading to the arrest of a 30-year-old man, who was later jailed for 24 weeks.
Nottingham Forest fan Robert Biggs assaulted Billy Sharp after Forest beat Sheffield United
Patrick Vieira faces a possible FA charge after kicking out at an Everton fan on the pitch
The on-field assault on Sharp brought back vivid memories of an attack on Jack Grealish -then of Aston Villa- in a game at bitter rival Birmingham City.
Grealish was knocked to the ground by a supporter who was subsequently jailed for 14 weeks and given a 10-year stadium ban.
The FA said it is ‘very concerned about the rise in anti-social behaviour from fans’.
In a statement on Friday, the FA called on clubs to ‘play a vital role’ and prevent pitch invasions as well as ‘taking their own action’. The FA said it was ‘reviewing our regulations to help stamp this behaviour out and to ensure the safety of everyone inside a stadium’.
The FA added: ‘Football stadiums should always be a safe and enjoyable space for everyone, and these incidents are completely unacceptable and have no place in our game.
‘It is illegal to enter the pitch area in any stadium and these actions are putting players, fans and people who run the game at great risk. This simply cannot continue and we can confirm that we are investigating all of the incidences.’