Manchester City apologize after Aston Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen was ASSAULTED when their fans invaded the pitch at the Etihad to celebrate their Premier League title in the latest episode of supporters targeting players when running on
- Aston Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen was attacked at Manchester City on Sunday
- City fans became the latest group of supporters to launch a pitch invasion
- Their side had just won the Premier League before the nasty scenes unfolded
- City immediately issued an apology to Villa as Pep Guardiola’s side lifted the title
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.
In response, City swiftly released a statement saying: ‘Manchester City would like to sincerely apologize 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. ‘
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
Supporters were hanging on goalposts and one even shattered as fans climbed all over them
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’s title triumph reduced manager Pep 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.
Pep Guardiola could not hide his delight at full time as Manchester City retained the title
City’s Kevin De Bruyne had to be escorted off the pitch after the final whistle
Thousands of City fans invaded the pitch with banners and flares at the final whistle to celebrate their title defense 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 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.
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.
Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira lashed out at a fan at Everton on Thursday night
Billy Sharp was left bloodied after a Nottingham Forest fan headbutted him last week
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 behavior 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 behavior 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. ‘