Roy Keane was reportedly attacked by a fan inside the Emirates Stadium on Sunday while he was heading to fulfill his post-match duties for Sky Sports.
While the Manchester United legend Keane was waiting for a lift to take him down to the pitchside area, he was confronted by an unknown man believed to be an Arsenal fan at the top of the West Stand.
It is alleged that the fury man headbutted the 52-year-old Roy Keane, striking him on the chest and chin but he was unable to cause serious physical injury to him.
How the incident happened
On Sunday night, September 3, footage circulating on social media captured the moment when Micah Richards, Keane’s Sky Sports colleague, bravely intervened and grappled with a man in an attempt to restrain him from causing more harm on the Manchester United legend.
However, the supporter managed to leave the area before security guards arrived.
The incident took place when Alejandro Garnacho believed he had scored a winning goal for Manchester United in the 88th minute but it was disallowed due to an offside call.
To compound Keane’s frustration, it was Arsenal who ultimately emerged victorious in the game, with two goals in the final moments of stoppage time from Declan Rice and Gabriel Jesus.
According to Daily Mail report, Keane and Richards were getting ready to use the elevator to descend and fulfill their usual pitchside media duties for Sky Sports following Arsenal’s 3-1 victory over Manchester United.
However, the man in question used that opportunity to confront Keane and reportedly attempted a headbutt, and succeeded in making contact with the chest and chin of the Red Devils legend.
Richards intervened to protect his Sky Sports colleague after a video circulating on social media showed him restraining the man and gripping his shirt.
Reports from Sky Sports and Daily Mail confirmed that the ugly incident is currently being investigated by the police.
London’s Met Police confirmed they were probing the incident in a statement that reads: “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”.
Keane and Richards later carried on with their post-match punditry duties after the ugly incident.
Manchester United legend, Roy Keane and Arsenal rivalry
Over the years, Keane and Arsenal have had a strained relationship, particularly due to the ongoing feud between the 52-year-old and former Gunners captain Patrick Vieira.
In February 2005, Manchester United made their way to Arsenal to mark an indelible encounter.
However, tensions had already escalated in the tunnel, as the players engaged in a heated argument even before setting foot on the pitch.
In the tunnel, Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira issued a warning to Gary Neville, indicating that he was about to face some difficulties.
In response, Keane staunchly defended his United teammate as a heated exchange of vulgarities ensued between the two groups of players.
Keane allegedly made his way to the front of the line and directed a shout at Vieira: “I’ll see you on the field. Stop shouting every week. Pretending to be a nice person.”
Manchester United eventually defeated Arsenal 4-2.
Ever since then, Keane has been involved in several incidents that have solidified his reputation as one of football’s toughest players.
As the former captain of Manchester United, he maintained a strict and uncompromising approach, which continues to define his image in the sport.
Even though Keane and Vieira reconciled and have since collaborated in the field of punditry after they retired from football, the rivalry between Arsenal and Manchester United persists.
Next for Arsenal and Manchester United
After the defeat, Manchester United find themselves in 11th place in the Premier League standings, having secured two wins and suffered two defeats in their first four games of the season.
Erik ten Hag’s team will be facing Brighton at Old Trafford when the Premier League resumes after the upcoming international break.
On the other hand, Arsenal will continue their unbeaten streak when they face Everton on September 17.