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Manchester City pitch invasion ‘concerning’, says PM’s spokesman

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman has called a pitch invasion at Manchester City’s ground ‘concerning’ (Martin Rickett/PA)
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman has called a pitch invasion at Manchester City’s ground ‘concerning’ (Martin Rickett/PA)

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman has called a pitch invasion at Manchester City’s ground “concerning” as inquiries continue into reported assaults on Aston Villa’s goalkeeper.

Two City fans were charged after supporters celebrated the team’s win over Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday that secured the Premier League title.

Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen was reportedly assaulted as thousands of fans poured on to the pitch at the full-time whistle.

Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said: “I think the scenes we saw were concerning.

“I understand there is work under way to establish what exactly happened in that instance, and the security of staff and players is important at these matches.”

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said: “Inquiries into the reported assault of a player on the pitch after the final whistle are ongoing, with officers working in partnership with both football clubs.”

It comes after a number of pitch invasions at matches last week, including one in which Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp was headbutted by Nottingham Forest fan Robert Biggs at the end of the Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final second leg.

A GMP spokesman said Phillip Maxwell, 28, of Anzio Row, Knowsley, has been charged with throwing a pyrotechnic on to the pitch and is due to appear at Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court on June 23.

Paul Colbridge, 37, of Whitegate Drive, Salford, has been charged with going on to the pitch and will appear at the same court on June 7.

The force said both men were bailed ahead of their court appearances.

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