Aaron Ramsdale was kicked by a Tottenham Hotspur supporter after Arsenal’s 2-0 north London derby win on Sunday.
Ramsdale, who was involved in an incident with Spurs striker Richarlison moments earlier, was collecting his goalkeeper gloves from behind the goal after the final whistle when a fan appeared to kick him.
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A melee ensued with several players from both teams joining in, but Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta quickly whisked his players away, including Ramsdale, to celebrate in front of their own fans.
“The Spurs fans gave me some throughout the game,” said Ramsdale. “I gave some back, the people I gave it to welcome it in sportsmanly terms, but one fan tried to give me a little punch on the back.
“It’s a shame because it’s just a game of football at the end of the day. Both sets of players tried to bring me off, but thankfully nothing too drastic happened. It’s a sour taste, but I’m sure we will. Enjoy It’s when we go back to the dressing room.”
The Professional Footballers’ Association released a statement after the match, saying: “Violence against players is completely unacceptable, these types of incidents happen far too often.
“Players have a right to be safe in their place of work. When a player is attacked, we expect the laws and regulations that are in place to protect players to be properly enforced.
“As the players union, we treat this as a priority issue. We will continue to work with the authorities to demand that players and staff are better protected in their place.”
The FA echoed the PFA’s sentiments in their statement: “We strongly condemn the incident involving a spectator who followed today’s Premier League fixture between Tottenham and Arsenal. This is completely unacceptable behavior and we will work together with the police, the relevant authorities and the clubs to ensure the appropriate action is taken.”
The boss of Spurs Antonio Conte is not satisfied with the action of the fan, and asked those in the stands to have respect for the players on the field.
“At every moment we have to show respect,” Conte said. “If we want respect, we have to show respect. Honestly, I did not see this. But if it happened, this type of situation for sure, I did not like it.”
The incident came after Premier League leaders Arsenal put on a masterclass to overwhelm Tottenham and extend the gap at the top to eight points. Ramsdale was a key figure in the victory, denying Harry Kane several times.
“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,” Ramsdale added. “We earned the two-goal lead and maybe more.”
The win puts Arsenal on 47 points from 18 games, eight ahead of Manchester City, with Newcastle United (who have played one game more) and Manchester United a point further back.