A night where Arsenal took a massive stride in their quest to clinch their first Premier League title since 2004 was also marred by a horrific incident of violence as a Tottenham fan evaded the security and kicked Aaron Ramsdale on his back after the
referee blew the final whistle.
After Arsenal’s triumph was secured, Ramsdale turned towards South Stand, filled by the home crowd, and stuck out his tongue and kissed his Arsenal badge, much to the ire of Spurs fans. Richarlison, the substitute standing near Ramsdale, didn’t like the
latter’s gesture and pushed him.
Both of them were pulled apart, and Ramsdale went behind the post to fetch his water bottle. A Spur fan stormed down the stand, kicked the Arsenal goalie in front of security personnel, and safely walked back to stand.
“The Spurs fans were giving me some [stick] throughout the second half,” Ramsdale said. “I gave them some back and the few people I did do it to was probably well- greeted, sportsmanship-like. And then a fan jumped over and gave me a little punch
[sic] in the back.”
“That’s what happened and it’s a shame as it’s just a game of football at the end of the day. Thankfully nothing too drastic happened. It’s a sour taste but I’m sure we’ll enjoy it when we’re back in the dressing room.”
Ramsdale wasn’t happy, of course. It needed an intervention from Arsenal’s manager Mikel Arteta, who pulled aside his goalie to calm down the situation. Buoyed by a 2-0 victory, Arteta directed his entire team toward the other end where away fans were
seated, and they celebrated together what was a significant week.
The victory has taken Arteta’s troops eight points clear of second-placed Manchester City, who suffered a crushing 2-1 defeat against Manchester United. More than half of the season remains to be played, and anything could happen over such a long period, but if the first eighteen matches of the season offer us any insight, it is that other teams would require something extraordinary to topple this Arsenal side.
“This win has a big emotional attachment because there is a big history between the two clubs and it means so much for our people to win this game. We’re in a great position. Let’s enjoy the moment and keep focusing. The enjoyment is going to come if
we keep focusing on what we have to do,” said Arteta in the post-match conference.