Arsenal pitch invader charged

A man has been charged with common assault and invading the pitch during Sunday’s Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester United.

Gary Cooper, 30, of Chertsey was arrested after entering the field of play as Arsenal’s players were celebrating Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s successful penalty.

Cooper was bailed to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, March 26.

The incident happened shortly after Aubameyang scored a spot-kick in the 69th minute to give Arsenal a 2-0 lead.

The man appeared to confront Chris Smalling before running with his arms aloft towards the celebrating Arsenal players. He was later removed from the pitch by stewards.

After the match, Arsenal promised to take swift action against the pitch invader by banning him from their matches.

A spokesman said: “We utterly condemn the behaviour of the individual who ran onto the pitch and approached Chris Smalling during today’s match.

“We would like to apologise to Chris and Manchester United, and are pleased that the individual was apprehended and arrested.

“We will be working closely with the Metropolitan Police in their investigation. The individual will also be banned from Arsenal matches home and away. Our matchday staff receive ongoing training on managing incidents such as this.”

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