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Friday 27 January 2023 Dublin: 1°C
A supporter invaded the pitch during Arsenal's 2-0 win on Sunday.
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'Ban him for life': Arsenal pitch invader arrested just hours after separate Jack Grealish attack
The incident came just hours after a Birmingham fan ran onto the field to hit Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish.

A SUPPORTER WHO ran onto the pitch and appeared to push Chris Smalling during Arsenal’s home win over Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday has been arrested, the Gunners announced following the Premier League match.

The incident came just hours after a Birmingham fan ran onto the field to hit Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish during the Birmingham derby and followed several episodes of hooliganism, including coin attacks on players and managers, in Scottish football.

After a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang penalty made it 2-0 to Arsenal — the eventual final scoreline — a lone fan ran onto the field to celebrate with the players and then appeared to make contact with United defender Smalling.

Arsenal later announced that the person concerned had been arrested and would likely face a lifetime ban from their Emirates ground as the club have a “zero tolerance” approach to such incidents.

“(There) shouldn’t be a place that someone runs onto the pitch,” said United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following his first domestic defeat in charge of the English giants.

“We just have to make sure we play football and they (the fans) watch football.” It was a view shared by Gunners boss Unai Emery.

“I don’t want that,” Emery said. “It is not in my control, I think we can enjoy the support, today I think they helped us but we need to do it with respect.”

Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness said there should be no second chances for pitch invaders at football matches.

“Ban him for life with no chance of coming back into the stadium,” he said.

- © AFP, 2019

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