An Everton supporter has been arrested for throwing a projectile onto the pitch that struck Aston Villa players Lucas Digne and Matty Cash, who were both knocked to the ground as they celebrated Aston Villa's winning goal in the teams' Premier League clash on Saturday.
Emi Buendia netted a header from a Digne corner deep into first-half inury time at Goodison Park, as Aston Villa came away with the 1-0 win and Duncan Ferguson's latest interim tenure got off to a poor start against old Liverpool enemy Steven Gerrard in the opposite dugout.
As the visiting players raced over to celebrate the lone goal of the match before the halftime break, both former Toffees man Digne — who only arrived at Villa this month after falling out of favor with since-fired Everton boss Rafa Benitez — and Cash were apparently struck by a bottle hurled from the stands, forcing both down onto the turf. Watch the video below:
Everton announced after the match that supporter had been arrested for throwing the object onto the pitch.
Police have arrested a supporter at Goodison Park for throwing a missile onto the pitch during today’s Premier League match against Aston Villa.— Everton (@Everton) January 22, 2022
Everton loses to Aston Villa
With the game locked at 0-0 heading into first-half injury-time, and with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford having produced a superb save only moments earlier, a late Villa corner gave the visitors the chance to strike before the interval.
Digne, back for the first time to face his former club since his transfer departure on Jan. 9, swung in the set-piece off the right wing for Buendia to head home, before the latter led his teammates over to the Frenchman to celebrate by the flag.
Amid these scenes, a bottle was flung from the crowd by an apparent home supporter, impacting both Digne and Cash amid the group huddle, with both players dropping to the ground immediately afterwards.
Digne's Goodison Park return
The incident capped a lively return to Goodison Park for Digne, who has arguably been the biggest casualty of Benitez's ill-fated spell on the blue half of Merseyside.
The former Liverpool boss never truly delivered upon his vast experience as one of Europe's most decorated managers, with his appointment likely to be reflected upon as a historically poor choice, even without his legendary status down the road in the rival territory of Anfield.
But his choice to effectively freeze Frenchman Digne out, forcing a transfer to Villa shortly before his own firing, may look to be one of his defining legacies, as the defender came back to haunt his old side with an assist.
Manchester United vs. West Ham result: Marcus Rashford's late goal sends Red Devils into 4th in Premier League
Man United up to 4th: Late goal ends Hammers
USMNT striker Josh Sargent scores outrageous scorpion kick goal for Norwich vs. Watford
Sargent scores incredible goal for Norwich
Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie headline USMNT roster for World Cup 2022 January qualifiers
USMNT roster for January WCQ released
How long does COVID-19 keep soccer players out for? Recovery time & self-isolation period
How long does COVID-19 keep players out?