Police have arrested a man after footage emerged of a fan allegedly headbutting Roy Keane in a hospitality area at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, leaving “blood on the floor”.
Footage released to social media last night showed Keane’s Sky Sports colleague Micah Richards struggling with someone to hold him down, but he was gone before security forces arrived.
Sky Sports confirmed today that Richards had tried to “defuse” the situation when the Met announced it had arrested a 42-year-old on suspicion of assault.
The 52-year-old former Manchester United captain was confronted by a man at the top of the West Stand while waiting for a ride to take him to the sidelines, Mail Sport has learned.
The man allegedly headbutted Keane, hitting the Irishman in the chest and chin.
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Footage released to social media last night showed Roy Keane’s Sky Sports colleague Micah Richards struggling with a man to hold him down, but he had left before security forces arrived
Today the Met confirmed it had opened an investigation into the incident and made an arrest
Keane (second from right) and Richards (far left) then continued their expert post-game duties
Today Sky confirmed the incident and said: “We understand that police are investigating an alleged attack by a citizen immediately prior to the footage being shared on social media.”
“In the footage shown, Micah Richards acted to defuse a situation.”
A witness said Richards intervened after a fan attacked his colleague.
Describing the aftermath of the incident, the witness added: “Afterwards, we noticed a small amount of blood on the floor.”
The incident came just after Man Utd winger Alejandro Garnacho looked like he had won the game for United in the 88th minute.
Keane and Richards, who worked with former Arsenal player Theo Walcott, had rushed back to the studio to see what had happened, with Garnacho’s goal eventually ruled out following a VAR review.
Keane, who had had a turbulent relationship with Arsenal throughout his playing career, was eventually escorted to the sideline where he continued his broadcasts.
The Emirates were a cauldron of noise on Sunday after Declan Rice scored late
The Met said: “Police are investigating an attack that allegedly took place at Emirates Stadium during a game between Arsenal and Manchester United on Sunday 3 September.”
How Keane once confronted the Arsenal captain in the tunnel
United traveled to Arsenal on a cold February evening in 2005, but boiling point was reached in the tunnel.
Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira warned Gary Neville in the tunnel that he was going to be in trouble and Keane defended his player to the max.
A spate of swear words between the two groups of players continued before Keane reached the front of the line and shouted to Vieira, “See you out there.” Scream your mouth every week. Imagine you’re a nice guy.
United would win the game 4-2.
Keane (right) points to Vieira (out of frame)
“The investigations are ongoing. Any witnesses or anyone with information is asked to call 101, Ref. CAD 6961/3 Sept.
Sunday’s game reached boiling point before the final whistle and Emirates were a cauldron of noise after an eventful 113 minutes.
Striker Marcus Rashford scored United’s first goal as they took the lead against the flow of play by scoring on the break against a dangerous Arsenal side.
Their joy was short-lived as Arsenal responded with an equalizer just 35 seconds later, eventually rekindling the rivalry between two great rivals.
£105m summer signing Declan Rice struck the winner in the 96th minute and delighted the home crowd before Gabriel Jesus struck a third as United sought a last-minute equaliser.
Keane and Arsenal have shared a strained relationship over the years, with the 52-year-old’s feud with former Gunners captain Patrick Vieira being the focus of a strained North-South relationship.
Arsenal v Manchester United remains one of the Premier League’s most notorious rivalries.
Between 1996 and 2004 the famous duo shared the English top flight title as they dominated the rest of the league.
Keane was usually at the center of the drama as he led the Red Devils out at Arsenal’s old turf, Highbury, and even ahead of Sunday’s game he described the players as “getting into the fight”.
The decisive one-on-one duel between two titans in this encounter is shared by Keane and Vieira and it all dates back to the Frenchman’s arrival in England 27 years ago after joining from AC Milan.
Both are in their prime, both lead their teams as captains and neither strikes before stepping onto the field. They set the tone that their teams would then follow.
Keane (left) had a strained relationship with former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira (right) during their playing days.
To date, they witness the most famous tunnel moment in English football history when Keane backed young Gary Neville and slammed Vieira for getting involved with United’s full-back.
United won the affair 4-2 as referee Graham Poll attempted to keep Keane and Vieira apart in a confined space before the game.
There have been numerous other incidents in which Keane has retained his status as one of football’s ‘tough men’ to this day, having maintained a no-nonsense approach during his time as Man United captain.
The pair eventually reconciled after both retired and have worked together professionally ever since, but the rivalry between two of England’s biggest clubs remains.