ROY Keane was allegedly headbutted by a fan in shocking scenes during the Arsenal v Manchester United game.
Dramatic footage shows fellow Sky Sports pundit Micah Richards stepping in and pinning the fan against the wall moments after the alleged assault.
Keane was allegedly confronted before Richards stepped inCredit: Twitter
Roy Keane (right) and Micah Richards (left) were pundits for the clash between Arsenal and Manchester United alongside Theo WalcottCredit: Twitter @SkySportsPL
The suspect was accused of aiming a headbutt at the United legend but reportedly struck him on the chest and chin, according to MailOnline.
Keane, 52, and Richards were waiting for a lift at the members-only Highbury Bar at the top of the West Stand when the incident took place.
They had been making their way pitchside during the closing minutes of the tense game to give their post-match verdicts for Sky Sports.
But the pair are understood to have then tried to race back to the studio after Alejandro Garnacho’s late goal, which was later ruled out by VAR for offside.
A witness told The Express Keane was asking nearby staff to call police.
They said: “The fan seemingly tried to headbutt Roy Keane. I then saw a mark between his eyebrows.
“Micah Richards stepped in and pushed the fan back against the door. I heard the altercation and I was shocked to see the individuals involved.”
The witness added: “Afterwards, we noticed a small amount of blood on the floor on the route where the fan was led out. Seems like Micah Richards was acting as Roy Keane’s bodyguard.”
The pundits were eventually escorted down to the pitch, where they were able to continue their broadcast alongside Theo Walcott and presenter Dave Jones.
What we know:
- Roy Keane and Micah Richards involved in clash with a fan
- Incident took place in members-only bar as pundits made their way down to the pitch
- Pair then attempted to return to Sky studio to re-watch Garnacho’s disallowed goal
- The fan reportedly struck Keane on the chest and chin
- Richards stepped in and “pushed the fan back against the door”
- A witness recalled seeing “a small amount of blood on the floor”
- But fan was prevented from inflicted any serious damage
- Richards was “acting to defuse a situation”, Sky Sports spokesperson says
- Police confirm they are investigating alleged assault
- Arsenal are cooperating with authorities, club spokesman says
The fan was prevented from inflicting serious physical damage.
Ex-City defender Richards was said to be “acting to defuse a situation”, according to a Sky Sports spokesperson.
Cops confirmed they were investigating the “alleged assault” but said no arrests had been made.
A spokesperson for Sky Sports said: “We understand the police are investigating an alleged assault by a member of the public immediately preceding the footage circulating on social media.
“In the footage seen, Micah Richards was acting to defuse a situation.”
Do YOU see the incident, have any information or know the man in the video? Email Jamie Phillips: email@example.com
A Met Police spokesman confirmed the force has launched an investigation.
A statement read: “Police are investigating following an assault that is alleged to have occurred at the Emirates Stadium during an Arsenal v Manchester United match on Sunday, 3 September.
“There have been no arrests. Inquiries are ongoing.”
Arsenal are cooperating with authorities with the investigation underway.
A club spokesperson added: “We are aware of an incident that took place during our match against Manchester United on Sunday.
“The Metropolitan Police is conducting an investigation into the matter and we are fully cooperating with their enquiries.”
Earlier, Keane had shared his frustration at United and Arsenal players appearing to greet each other in the tunnel before the game.
He said: “Everyone thinks I’m old school, but I don’t know why you want to be chatting with people that you’re just going into battle with.
“You’re going to be kicking lumps out of each other.
“I’ll shake your hand after the game, but not before you go into a battle.”
Keane and Richards played for fierce rivals on the pitch, but have former an unlikely bond since the ex-City defender joined the Sky Sports punditry team.
His ex-United and Ireland international colleague, meanwhile, had a stormy relationship with Arsenal during his playing days.
One incident saw Keane and then Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira clash before a Premier League match at Highbury in February 2005.
The pair had to be separated by referee Graham Poll after Keane came to the defence of teammate and now fellow Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville.
It was once of a number of fraught affairs as United and Arsenal battled for Premier League titles between 1996 and 2004.
The off-pitch drama at the Emirates followed a pulsating 113 minute match riddled with VAR controversy as Arsenal beat United 3-1.
Richards, Walcott, Keane and Jones were pitch side after the gameCredit: Twitter
Keane and Richards are regular Sky punditsCredit: Getty
Ravaged by injuries, the away side took the lead through Marcus Rashford’s fine strike.
But Martin Odegaard immediately hit back with a clean low-driven finish.
Garnacho thought he had won it for the Red Devils late into normal time, but his strike was ruled out after he was adjudged to be narrowly offside.
The match looked destined to end in a 1-1 draw before Declan Rice and Gabriel Jesus scored for Arsenal deep in injury time.
Keane and Richards regularly work on Sky’s Super Sunday programme and will likely be back on TV screens together after the international break on September 17.