Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale said he was attacked by a fan just after his side had earned a 2-0 victory in a fiery North London derby with Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Sunday.
Ramsdale was man-of-the-match as he kept Tottenham at bay time and again and also clashed with several Spurs players during the match.
Spurs’ Brazilian forward Richarlison had an altercation with Ramsdale after the final whistle, before a Tottenham supporter seemed to climb on the pitchside advertising boards and kick the 24-year-old.
“The Spurs fans gave me some throughout the game,” Ramsdale told Sky Sports. “I was giving some back. The people I did give it to greeted it in sportsmanlike terms but one fan tried to give me a little punch on the back.
“It is a shame as it is just a game of football at the end of the day. Both sets of players tried to bring me away but thankfully nothing too drastic happened. It is a sour taste but I’m sure we will enjoy it when we go back into the dressing room.”
The English Football Association said they “strongly condemn” the incident of “wholly unacceptable behaviour”, while the Professional Footballers’ Association added that these instances were happening too often.
“Players have a right to be safe in their place of work,” the PFA said in a statement. “When a player is attacked, we expect the laws in place to protect players to be properly enforced. As the players’ union, we treat this as a priority issue. We will continue working with the authorities to demand that players and staff are better protected in their place of work.”
Spurs pledged to take action in a statement released shortly after the match.
“The Club has reviewed its CCTV footage to identify the supporter and will be working with the Met Police, Arsenal and Aaron Ramsdale to take the strongest possible action, including an immediate ban from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium,” Tottenham said.
Spurs coach Antonio Conte said he did not see the Ramsdale incident.
“In every moment you have to show respect,” he added. “If we want respect we have to show respect. If it happened then for sure I didn’t like it.”
Arsenal put on a masterclass to overwhelm shell-shocked Tottenham and extend the gap at the top of the Premier League to eight points over champion Manchester City in second, a result Ramsdale played a major role in.
“The manager also mentioned that in the last few North London derbies we haven’t kept a clean sheet, so that spurred me on a bit,” he added.
“We deserved the two-goal lead and maybe deserved more.”
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