A new video has emerged showing Christian Benteke’s face grabbed by Everton fan while Wilfried Zaha confronts a taunting pitch invader.
As many of us saw, Patrick Vieira lashed out at a Toffees supporter after Crystal Palace’s Premier League match against Everton on Thursday evening.
Everton fans invaded the pitch on two separate occasions during the match and while many celebrated with their own team’s players, others went straight to the Palace players with the game ending on a sour note despite the hosts’ avoiding relegation.
A supporter ran up to Vieira and goaded him as he was making his way to the dressing room, fair to say you don’t want to pick on Vieira however as he went on to kick out at the individual.
Christian Benteke was also targeted by a couple of Everton fans as can be seen in the viral video below…
Fair play to Bentekkers for not absolutely lamping this geezer. pic.twitter.com/gwrH9EvCKx
— Footy Limbs (@FootyLimbs) May 20, 2022
Footage has emerged of Everton fans goading Benteke after making their way onto the pitch.
One of the fans, who was recording the moment, screamed ‘Kopite’ at Benteke, a reference to the year-stint he had at Liverpool, while also putting their middle finger in his face.
Full credit to Benteke for not giving the fan what he wanted in a reaction.
Meanwhile, Wilfried Zaha vented his anger at the scenes playing out with the 29 year old forward riled up by the same Everton supporter who was recording the incident on his phone.
“Merseyside Police is investigating an altercation on the pitch at Goodison Park following the Everton v Crystal Palace match on Thursday,” the force said in a statement.
“We are working with Everton to gather all available CCTV footage and are speaking to witnesses.
“No formal complaint has been received and enquiries into the incident are ongoing.”
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The FA say it is “very concerned about the rise in anti-social behaviour from fans”.
“Football stadiums should always be a safe and enjoyable space for everyone, and these incidents are completely unacceptable and have no place in our game,” said the FA in a statement on Friday.
“It is illegal to enter the pitch area in any stadium and these actions are putting players, fans and people who run the game at great risk. This simply cannot continue and we can confirm that we are investigating all of the incidences.”
The Premier League also issued a statement on Friday, saying it is “concerned about fan behaviour at grounds”, but “recognises that reckless actions are carried out by a small minority of fans and the majority of supporters attend and watch matches in a safe and respectful way”.
“The Premier League has encouraged clubs to remind supporters that it is illegal for them to enter the pitch at any time and may result in a criminal record and stadium bans. We will continue to discuss and address the ongoing issue of fan behaviour with The FA, EFL and other football partners ahead of the start of next season to ensure matches are safe environments for all.”
A Crystal Palace source told BBC Sport that the security was a “joke” and that Christian Benteke was “slapped” during the first, smaller pitch invasion that followed Everton’s third goal.
The source said: “At the end of the game they [the fans] were goading players and staff which is unacceptable.
“Is it going to take another Billy Sharp incident or worse before people say fans shouldn’t be allowed on the pitch?”
The source adds that Palace boss Vieira told the officials it “wasn’t safe” after the first pitch invasion – but despite those “warning signs” the away team was “left to their own devices” to get off the pitch.
Social media users reacted to Benteke’s face being grabbed by an Everton fan while Zaha confronts a taunting pitch invader…
@Inducta38382901: Vieria told them it wasn’t safe after his player gets slapped and then after the officials continue the game he get abused on the pitch as thousands of Everton fans swarm the pitch. Now @FootballAssoc are investigating him! Heads need to roll
@Bobbymo55262865: Held it together well. But we all know what he was thinking….same as the rest of us Fu…….ing Scouser go and wash yourself.What did he say again?
@EFCZay: he should’ve decked him
@liamb0117: Honestly man fair play to Benteke for not squashing the little rat
@NickoCocks: I’d dock points and relegate #Everton on the strength of this alone. Appalling.
@Elliottboyd85: @premierleague you can’t say that didn’t affect Palace players performance knowing if they scored violent and abusive Everton fan could and would get to them. If I was a @LUFC & @BurnleyOfficial I’d be furious with Everton for allowing fan to do this and the PL 4 doing nothing.
@stevedarney: Life time bans. It’s all getting a bit boring to be honest. Players aren’t safe, especially in these playoff semi final games. Police/stewards know its coming – as in some fan head straight towards oppo fans and players – but yet – naff all protection. Someone will get badly hurt
@Connorjscott04: It’s just embarrassing you don’t see this from any of the others clubs fighting relegation
@RobPeel7: You have to live the love the fact that those committing offences put their own evidence of offences and breach of @Everton rules on social media. Should make it easy for club to do the right thing and ban them… after, of course, the law has its own go….
@JackDryden17: As a Newcastle fan, I remember vaguely when Jonas Gutierrez kept us in the prem by scoring a late winner after just coming back from cancer, yet we still didn’t invade the pitch. It’s just a small club thing
@UnitedAido: Wtf he should have knocked him out clean
@Stretfordend79: Benteke should’ve chinned him
@RyanSmith1881: If benteke clarted him with a right hook though he’d cry like a bitch
@shez_dictates: Find them, ban them. Benteke couldn’t have been blamed for slotting him.
@theElgrunn: I think Everton are up there for having the worst fans just recently
@graham_galton: If Benteke lamped him some would make the fan the victim somehow
@MugFpl: Recurring theme of only black players and manager being targeted by fans who ran on the pitch 🤔🤔
@ldnstu: A Palace player assaulted on the pitch by an Everton fan during the game somewhat undermines the integrity of the result
Everton fans tonight.
Hit Andersen (arguably sexual assault)
Through a smoke bomb in the away end and hit a women
Mid game pitch invasion
End of game pitch invasion
Verbally abused Zaha Vieira and probably others
Anything I’m missing
@NickAllen224: Pitch invasions are nothing new. But multiple pitch invasions in a week with all of them having a level of harassment or violence towards opposition seems to be, and something really needs doing about it.
@StephFuller_: Points deduction would solve it. 3 would do the trick right now.
@joeoliverius: FA needs to be consistent with punishment for in-game pitch invasions.
@FatGoalieE15: As a minimum they should play the next home game behind closed doors!
— Thijs (@lfcthijs) May 19, 2022