In a remarkable turnaround on Thursday night, Everton overcame a two-goal deficit against Crystal Palace to secure a Premier League spot for the next season. The Toffees who were inching towards relegation struggled in the first half against Patrick Vieira’s men, but a late header from Dominic Calvert-Lewin sealed a 3-2 victory to ensure top-flight football in the next season.
Fans were over the moon after witnessing an epic comeback from their team and couldn’t help but invade the pitch. Thousands flocked to the pitch to celebrate the team’s victory, leading to utter chaos.
The authorities found it hard to contain these fans who were outnumbering them by margins and margins. And not all of these fans had the best intentions on their mind.
Crystal Palace’s manager, Patrick Vieira, was walking towards the dugout when suddenly, he was ambushed by a Toffees’ fan who made obscene gestures at the ex-Arsenal man. The fan forced a camera at Vieira’s face and made vulgar comments which irked the Eagles’ boss.
An angry Vieira defended himself by lashing out, first with his hand, and then kicking the man in question who had violated his space. Another Toffees fan came into the picture and pushed Vieira and before it could get any uglier, other people on the pitch came running and stepped in to ensure that the 45-year-old could leave the pitch with no further damage.
Social media was buzzing with support for Vieira’s actions. Many fans came to the fore and clarified that the club, Football Association, and Police should be the ones questioned why this has happened and Vieira should not be criticised.
Everton manager Frank Lampard also came in Vieira’s support. “I feel for Patrick because I didn’t get to speak to him at the end because of how it all erupted for us.” Pitch invasions are not usually the norm in England but there has been a significant rise in such invasions lately, and witnessing the assault on Vieira has raised many questions regarding the safety of the manager and the players. A fan posted that what if a pitch invader had a knife or a sharp object which could hurt anyone? Who will be responsible?
We should avoid such altercations at all costs. Some fans on Twitter lauded Vieira’s effort in handling the situation while some confessed that they now have more respect for a man who has lost lesser matches in the Premier League than Mikel Arteta.
Twitter has a way of showing love. And this is how it came rushing towards Vieira.