Arrest made after ‘missile’ strikes players in England (VIDEO)
Lucas Digne, who joined Aston Villa from Everton earlier this month, and his colleague Matty Cash were hit with the object thrown from the Everton supporters section as they celebrated what proved to be the only goal of the game from Emiliano Buendia just before the half-time break.
Digne and Cash appeared to be dazed after being stuck with the projectile but both were deemed fit to continue playing.
Everton later said that they worked alongside local police to identify the supporter who threw the 'missile' after viewing CCTV footage of the incident, leading to a single arrest being made.
Bottle from crowd hits Cash & Digne.Utterly Disgraceful pic.twitter.com/FXOlGYgHi8— Rodger Armstrong (@rodgerarmstrong) January 22, 2022
"Police have arrested a supporter at Goodison Park for throwing a missile onto the pitch during today's Premier League match against Aston Villa," a statement issued by Everton read.
"Several objects were thrown towards the pitch following Aston Villa's goal at the end of the first half, with one missile appearing to strike two opposition players.
"Investigations in conjunction with the police are ongoing, and the club will issue bans to any fans identified throwing objects."
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
Following the second-half kick-off, Everton addressed their supporters via the loudspeaker inside Goodison Park, telling them: "This is a club safety announcement. Should anyone be found throwing bottles or any other items on the pitch you will be arrested and banned from the club."
Speaking after the match Polish international Cash described the incident as being "crazy".
"It was crazy. It hit me straight on the head," he said. "It's not nice having that but we got three points, so we'll take that."
Everton caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson, meanwhile, issued his own rebuke of the supporter's actions.
"Yes, it is," he remarked when asked if it was 'disgraceful'. "I obviously never saw it but they shouldn't be doing that."
The defeat to Steven Gerrard's Aston Villa side leaves Everton just four points above the drop-zone and adds to what is becoming an increasingly worrisome situation for one of the Premier League's longest-tenured clubs.