Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish was assaulted by a Birmingham City fan during the Second City derby in the Championship on Sunday.
Grealish, who recently returned from a shinbone injury, was targeted by a pitch invader in the opening stages of the first half.
The supporter, who managed to evade security, punched the England Under-21 international in the side of the head from behind.
He was escorted from the pitch and a tweet from West Midlands Police subsequently confirmed that an arrest had been made and that the perpetrator was en route to a “custody block”.
Supporters were baffled by the scenes, with the incident, so rarely seen in English football, decried as “disgraceful” by many.
Indeed, some Villa fans believe that a precedent should be set, with the guilty party sent to prison and handed a lifetime ban from attending any matches, while others claim that Birmingham should be punished too.
Take a look at the best of the reaction on Twitter below!
Absolutely out of order that idiot who ran on the pitch and swung at Grealish. Will not call him a Birmingham ‘fan’, nor will I call anyone a ‘fan’ who thinks that has any place in the game. Lock him up, make an example of him. Disgrace.
— Luke Rowlands (@LukeRowlands11) March 10, 2019
— Dom (@DomQ18) March 10, 2019
Funny thing is, if blues finally win, no one will ever remember that they won, just that one of their fans assaulted Jack Grealish in the middle of the day on live TV… still shocked that it actually happened #AVFC
— LC (@LGC_AV) March 10, 2019
I know I'm going to be accused of bias here as a Villa fan but this game shouldn't continue. Either Blues forfeit the game or a replay in front of an empty ground, and throw the book at that fan. Expecting Grealish to play on is unfair Disgusting. #avfc
— James Hendicott (@jameshendicott) March 10, 2019
Grealish reacted like a true pro too. Laughed it off, not bothered. My captain. #AVFC
— _ (@WanDilliams) March 10, 2019
— Benjamin Brannelly (@BrannellyDrums) March 10, 2019
— Dave Collins (@bighandsdave71) March 10, 2019
@JackGrealish1 being attacked by a Blues fan is absolutely abhorrent. I've seen pens that contain small blades and this utter disgrace of a human can outrun a steward and judas punch a professional footballer? #avfc #grealish #UTV #PartOfThePride #bluesvilla
— Holly (@HollyJen86) March 10, 2019