Patrick Vieira had a horrible day on Thursday, May 19, 2022, and would like to forget about it in a hurry. But that would not happen as he might have some questions to answer in the coming days.
On the said date, Patrick Vieira led Crystal Palace to the Goodison Park stadium to play the club’s 37th Premier League game of the season against the then relegation-threatened Everton.
However, Crystal Palace played Everton like they were planning to use the match to win the Premier League title. Things went so smoothly that the visitors scored two goals in the first half courtesy of Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jordan Ayaw.
The two goals were expected to demoralize Everton players and their massive home supporters but that wasn’t the case. In the second half of the game, Everton’s players fought back and stunned coach Patrick Vieira and his men with three goals from Michael Keane, Richarlison, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin respectively.
The 3-2 Everton unexpected win left Crystal Palace on the 13th spot with 45 points in 37 games. While Everton escaped relegation with 35 points in 37 games.
Due to the escape, uncontrollable Everton fans invaded the pitch immediately after the final whistle to celebrate with the club’s players even though it was not welcome for the safety of both the fans and the players.
Congratulations to Everton FC for surviving relegation, what a match👌🏽👌🏽👌🏽🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/c1JeAXiNNg— #8703 EP Out Now!!! (@VeekaySA) May 19, 2022
Amid that, a disappointed Patrick Vieira was walking across the fans-invaded pitch to the other side of the Goodison Park stadium where the away team restroom is located when an Everton fan approached him.
In a viral video showing the incident, a boy (probably in his early 20s) was seen stretching his hands toward the face of Patrick Vieira as if he was mocking him. The French coach could not handle whatever the fan was saying to him and had to attack the fan.
Vieira kicked the fan. After the fan fell to the pitch, other Everton fans showed up to fight the coach but some men (who could be staff of the home team) came to the rescue of the coach.
Patrick Vieira, bir Everton taraftarını tekmeledi. pic.twitter.com/XxoMGtWicf— Sabah Spor (@sabahspor1) May 19, 2022
After Vieira successfully made it out of the crowded pitch, reporters asked the Arsenal legend about the incident involving him and an Everton fan. Patrick Vieira said: “I’ve got nothing to say about that.”
At the time of publishing this report, the English FA and Crystal Palace were yet to release an official statement over the incident.
Frank Lampard sympathizes with Patrick Vieira and justifies Goodison Park’s pitch invasion
On the part of Everton’s coach, Frank Lampard, the English tactician sympathized with the coach of Crystal Palace, Patrick Vieira over his altercation with a fan.
Lampard said he was not able to reach out to the French coach after the final whistle. According to the Chelsea legend, he would have tried to convince Vieira to join him in Everton’s restroom to guarantee his safety.
“I feel for Patrick,” Lanyard said. “I didn’t get him at the end. I would have said, ‘come in with us’ – although he might not have wanted that.
“Of course, he ran 80 yards across the pitch and it’s not easy.”
While one the pitch invasion, Lampard added: “It was pure elation of fans who have come on the pitch after avoiding relegation. Let them have their moment.
“If it’s done in the right way, and there aren’t scenes like we had the other night, let them run onto the pitch. That’s what football is about. What are we going to do? Handcuff them to the seats? So long as they behave themselves, no problem.”