Everton have vowed to ban any fan found to have thrown objects on to the pitch at Goodison Park after several Aston Villa players were struck by a plastic bottle during their side’s 1-0 win over Duncan Ferguson’s team.
The former Everton player Lucas Digne and his Villa teammate Matty Cash were both struck on the head by what appeared to be a full bottle of Lucozade as they celebrated Emiliano Buendía’s decisive goal in front of the home section of the Bullens Road Stand. A supporter was arrested at Goodison Park. Several objects were thrown at the Villa players in first-half stoppage time and Everton insist everyone responsible for the disgraceful scenes will be banned.
In a statement confirming the arrest, the club said: “Everton security staff and Merseyside police identified the supporter using CCTV footage. Several objects were thrown towards the pitch following Aston Villa’s goal at the end of the first half, with one missile appearing to strike two opposition players. Investigations in conjunction with the police are ongoing, and the club will issue bans to any fans identified throwing objects.”
Steven Gerrard made light of the incident but the Aston Villa manager said his players’ reaction was key to an impressive away win. “None of the players have mentioned it. We scored at a really important time and so at half-time it was more about resetting the focus. I haven’t seen anything so I don’t want to comment on any incidents that may or may not have happened. The pleasing thing for me is that the players didn’t mention it and just focused on their football.”
Ferguson, who was taking charge of his first game in his second spell as Everton’s caretaker manager, condemned the bottle throwing. “I never saw the incident but I have been told about it," él dijo. “It is bang out of order. That is not the way to do things. That is totally wrong.”
Several hundred Everton fans staged a sit-in protest that lasted for over an hour after the final whistle and called for Bill Kenwright, the chairman, plus other board members to leave a club that are in serious relegation trouble. Defeat left Everton with 19 points from 20 juegos, the club’s lowest points tally at this stage of a season in 24 años.
"Para mí, fans can protest and say what they want because it is their club,” Ferguson said. “They have the right to support their club in any way they want. I know how sick they are. I am gutted as much as them. I am on the floor, I am sick for the fans.”