Tottenham fan throws banana on pitch as Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates
Arsenal’s euphoric north London derby win was marred in controversy after a Tottenham fan was arrested for throwing a banana skin at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Metropolitan Police were investigating on Sunday night whether the incident was racially aggravated; the original arrest made for the throwing the missile.
Yet images of Aubameyang celebrating in front of Tottenham fans with a banana skin at his feet was a throwback to the darker days of English football.
A banana peel was seen to be thrown from the away section as Arsenal took the lead – none of the supporters in this image are suggested to have thrown the object
A banana peel was thrown onto the pitch as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrated his goal
The Football Association are set to investigate the controversial flashpoint, this morning they will speak to representatives from both clubs, while images and CCTV footage are likely to prove crucial.
However, the FA’s jurisdiction resides over the clubs and not the individual in question.
Tottenham moved quickly to condemn the supporter by issuing a statement.
‘Behaviour such as this is completely unacceptable and the supporter in question will be issued with a ban,’ said a Tottenham spokesman.
The striker celebrated in front of the away fans, and the banana was later seen on the turf
In total, seven arrests were made by Metropolitan Police officers – two in connection with smoke bombs hurled into the Tottenham end by Arsenal fans. The remaining four were for public order offences.
It is understood the arrests for the banana skin and the smoke bombs were made after stewards identified the culprits. The CCTV footage was used to confirm their identities.
The FA are also ready to investigate a mass confrontation between both sets of players, substitutes and staff after Eric Dier equalised Aubameyang’s opener from the spot.
Players had to be separated after Dier celebrated in front of the Arsenal fans. Replays appear to show the bust-up was sparked when Arsenal substitute Stephan Lichtsteiner, who was warming up, took umbrage at Tottenham’s celebrations.
Wembley disciplinary chiefs will wait for referee Mike Dean’s report before deciding on their next step – but it appears likely the official will include the brawl in his account.
At the very least, it seems inevitable that both clubs will be asked to provide their observations on the incident.
Aubameyang had put Arsenal ahead from the penalty spot and later went on to score a second
On the melee, Dier said: ‘I had my back to it all so I’m not too sure what happened. But this is football. It’s a derby.
‘Football is all about emotion and I don’t understand how I can get a yellow card in that situation. It baffles me because if you take the emotion out of football you’re going to destroy the game for everyone.
‘The ref said he gave me the yellow card because it was because of me that the whole thing started. If you watch it, we’re celebrating, I don’t leave the pitch at any point and some of their players that are on the bench come to us.
‘Their players approached us. I don’t know what’s wrong with it.’
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino left his seat to run down the touchline in a bid to calm his players down.
And the Argentine said: ‘In that moment, it was to try to put calm in our play. At 1-1, it was a massive fight there but I didn’t know what was going on in that moment.
‘I didn’t know what happened but sometimes these situations happen. I don’t know if it was the celebration of Dier.
On the incident, Arsenal manager Unai Emery added: ‘It is the moment on the pitch where the players are with very big emotions and also with the heart very firing a lot.’
Mesut Ozil’s future at Arsenal was thrown into further doubt after he was omitted from the match-day squad with a back injury.
Emery was short when asked about Ozil’s absence, merely saying: ‘He has back ache. Asked when Ozil sustained the injury, Emery replied: ‘I don’t know.’