Spurs face FA inquiry after fan throws banana skin at Arsenal’s Aubameyang

Tottenham face a Football Association investigation after one of their supporters was arrested for throwing a banana skin at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during Arsenal’s 4-2 derby win at the Emirates Stadium.

The Arsenal striker had scored the first of his two goals from the penalty spot when he ran to celebrate in front of the travelling supporters. A host of projectiles were thrown at him, with still photography showing that a banana skin was among them.

CCTV footage was used to confirm the identify of the fan who threw it and he was arrested. The Metropolitan Police said afterwards that a total of seven arrests were made – six for public order offences, of which at least two were Arsenal fans who lit smoke canisters during the match.

The FA will investigate and Tottenham released a statement that condemned the supporter who threw the banana skin. “Behaviour such as this is completely unacceptable and the supporter in question will be issued with a ban,” a spokesman said.

It was a fiery game that also featured a mass confrontation between players from both sides, including substitutes, after Eric Dier’s equaliser for 1-1. The Arsenal substitutes who were warming up nearby took exception to how Dier celebrated, with Stephan Lichtsteiner appearing to tap him. Players converged from all angles and projectiles were thrown by the Arsenal fans.

The banana is clearly visible in mid-air in this photo. It was thrown after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had given Arsenal a 1-0 lead.

The banana is clearly visible in mid-air in this photo. It was thrown after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had given Arsenal a 1-0 lead. Photograph: BPI/Rex/Shutterstock

The Tottenham manager, Mauricio Pochettino, ran up the touchline to act as a peacemaker while his assistant, Jesús Pérez, was involved in a furious row with the Arsenal substitute Mattéo Guendouzi. Dier was booked and he 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. But it doesn’t matter. It wasn’t because of that we lost.”

Pochettino said: “At 1-1 it was a massive fight there but I didn’t know what was going on in that moment. And in the moment that I arrived, it was all relaxed, calm. I didn’t know what happened but sometimes these situations happen. My intention was always to put calm.

“I don’t know if it was the celebration of Dier. I don’t know what upset some people there or some players that were doing the warm-up. I really don’t know and I didn’t ask at half-time. I think the cameras are there and we will see what is going on.”

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It was Arsenal’s latest victory coming from behind under Unai Emery – a testament to their new-found conviction – although there was intrigue regarding Mesut Özil, who was not included in the squad because of a back problem.

The club described it as a back spasm and noted it was something that had afflicted Özil before this season – most notably when it led to him missing the Fulham game in October – while Emery said it was “back ache” which made it sound less serious.

Emery was asked when Özil had felt the problem. “I don’t know,” he replied. Was Özil even at the stadium? “I don’t know,” Emery said.


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