Manchester City apologize to Aston Villa’s Robin Olsen for fan assault during pitch invasion

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After clinching the Premier League title Sunday, Manchester City become the latest club to deal with pitch storming turning ugly. Aston Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen was assaulted by fans after the match as he attempted to leave the field. Take a look:

The team released a statement saying the following, 

“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.”

This is now the third incident of fan altercations after a pitch storming just this week. Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp was headbutted to the ground by a Nottingham Forest supporter after a Forrest victory took them to the Championship Playoff final at Wembley. Despite Sharp being an Ex-Forest player himself, he was still targeted. After the match, Manager Paul Heckingbottom said, “It’s assault. We’ve seen one of our players attacked. He’s shuck up, bleeding, angry. It’ll be dealt with.” 

Over at Goodison Park, a fan accosted Patrick Vieira and he ended up retaliating after Everton secured Premier League safety on Thursday following a dramatic 3-2 come from behind victory over Vieira’s Crystal Palace side.

Vieira is currently being investigated by the Premier League but  it should go without saying that managers and players shouldn’t be put into situations like this during, or after, matches. The Everton match, in fact, is an especially concerning case as fans storming the pitch wasn’t even confined to after the final whistle. Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s header in the 85th minute, which completed the comeback and secured safety for the Toffees, was followed immediately by supporters storming onto the field, leading to a significant delay before order could be restored.

Storming the field can be a fun unforgettable way to celebrate, but it also shouldn’t be allowed to happen while the opposing team is still out there. It can create dangerous situations like the ones above, situations that seem to be occurring more often.

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