“My goalkeeper was attacked. You should ask Pep the questions”
Status: 2:34 p.m
In a dramatic season finale, Manchester City secured the Premier League title. After the final whistle, the fans storm the pitch – and attack Aston Villa’s players. Coach Gerrard is seething with anger. Two spectators are arrested.
FIt was truly a wasted afternoon for Steven Gerrard. The Aston Villa manager saw his side lose a 2-0 win over Manchester City in five minutes. As if the defeat wasn’t annoying enough, it also prevented Gerrard’s great love – Liverpool – from winning the championship.
Accordingly, Gerrard appeared at the press conference after the 2: 3 (2: 0). But the Villa coach had found another fact even worse. When asked if his players got off the pitch safely after the final whistle, the 41-year-old snapped back: “The answer to that question is: No!” Then Gerrard grumbled: “My goalkeeper was attacked. So I think these questions should go to Pep (Guardiola, Editor’s note) and Manchester City go.”
What happened? After the final whistle, all the dams in Manchester’s stadium burst. Citizens fans stormed onto the pitch to celebrate the Premier League title with their team. There were ugly attacks, especially on Robin Olsen.
TV footage shows Aston Villa’s goalkeeper, who later said he felt something hit the back of his head, being attacked several times. Accompanied by a security guard, a City fan hit Olsen in the face with his arm. Another folder then rushed to protect the keeper – shortly afterwards, however, a security guard was knocked down himself.
Manchester threatens severe penalties
Olson then ran, crouching and protecting his head, towards the players’ tunnel, trying to shield passing supporters with his arms. Aston Villa later said the goalkeeper was unharmed.
“After it was peaceful 99 out of 100 times in the past few years when fans came onto the field, we’ve had a problem in the past few weeks,” said Sky expert Gary Neville indignantly. “Not only are these idiots ruining the field, players and coaches are being attacked. What the hell are you doing? Where does it come from? That’s ridiculous.” Roy Keane found similarly harsh words: “It’s a shame.”
Manchester City confirmed the attack in the evening in an official statement: “Manchester City would like to sincerely apologize to Aston Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen, who was attacked by fans on the field after the final whistle of today’s game.” An investigation was launched immediately and wanted punish the attackers “with an indefinite stadium ban”.
Vieira kicked at a fan
The police have since arrested two fans. As the Greater Manchester Police announced on Monday, a 37-year-old man has to answer for illegally entering the football field. A 28-year-old is accused of throwing a firecracker on the field. Both were released on bail pending trial.
It’s not the first attack during a pitch storm in England in recent memory. Patrick Vieira was only provoked by a fan last week after losing to Everton. The Crystal Palace coach started to kick.
At the championship celebrations in Manchester, the fans literally destroyed the interior during the pitch storm. Among other things, a goal broke when fans sat on the crossbar. There were also supporters who ran onto the field with pyro torches. City captain Fernandinho was only able to lift the trophy after the lawn had been cleared.