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FA ‘strongly condemns’ Aaron Ramsdale attack as Tottenham vow to ban fan

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Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur was marred in the moments after the full-time whistle as a supporter from the home side appeared to try and kick Gunners goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

The Premier League leaders picked up a well-deserved three points thanks to an own goal by Hugo Lloris and a strike from Martin Odegaard.

But it was the post-match scenes which were the big talking point, as the player of the match was seemingly assaulted, just days after the police chief warned supporters must respect the boundaries of the pitch as banning orders rise.

Television cameras clearly showed the fan jumping up on the advertising hoardings to stand and aim a kick at the stopper as he walked away from a clash with Spurs attacker Richarlison moments earlier, towards his water bottle behind the goal.

Speaking after the match, Ramsdale told Sky Sports that most of the back-and-forth between himself and the supporters behind the goal was good-natured, but one took exception and reacted, trying to connect with a kick.

“The Spurs fans are giving me some in the second half and I’ve given them some back,” he explained. “The few I did [interact with] were well greeted sportsman-wise, then one fan jumped over and tried to punch me in the back.

“I think both sets of players tried to bring me away, thankfully nothing happened too drastically but it’s a sour taste. I’m sure we’ll enjoy it back in the dressing room.”

In terms of the match itself, Ramsdale added that the Gunners were fully deserving of the points.

“Totally [in control], we probably deserved a bit more. That’s what I’m there to do. The manager also mentioned the last few derbies we haven’t kept a clean sheet so that might have spurred me on.”

Richarlison had initially come across to reproach Ramsdale for goading Spurs fans as the whistle went, grabbing his Arsenal badge on the shirt in victory. The Brazilian jabbed a finger towards the ‘keeper’s face as Ramsdale pointed that he was collecting his water bottle, with stewards quickly on the scene to separate the two.

As he then reached the hoardings around the pitch, the supporter then kicked out and was pushed back by one steward, with both sets of players then quickly converging on the scene.

While the officials tried to usher them away and an irate Ramsdale was encouraged by his teammates to join celebrations at the opposite end of the pitch – in front of Arsenal fans – there were still a few players involved in arguments, with Granit Xhaka one of those who continued the disagreements.

Spurs defender Eric Dier added to Sky: “It’s just unacceptable, there’s nothing more I can say other than it shouldn’t have happened.”

A statement from the PFA insisted “violence towards players is completely unacceptable” and noted they were treating such incidents as “a priority issue”, to demand protection for players in their place of work.

Separately, the Premier League said it “condemns the behaviour of a fan at the conclusion of the [match]” and insisted they would work towards punishing the individual. “There is no place in football for acts of violence, and under no circumstance should players be attacked or fear for their safety at games. The League will support the clubs and relevant authorities in taking the strongest possible action against the individual responsible,” the statement continued.

Spurs’ own statement reiterated the same stance.

“We are appalled by the behaviour of a supporter that attempted to attack Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale at the end of today’s match. Violence in any form has no place in football.

“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.

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