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Aguero escapes punishment as Wigan probe FA Cup crowd trouble

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero (centre) walks across the pitch as supporters invade after their English FA Cup fifth round match with Wigan Athletic at Wigan’s DW Stadium on Monday night. AFP
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero (centre) walks across the pitch as supporters invade after their English FA Cup fifth round match with Wigan Athletic at Wigan’s DW Stadium on Monday night. AFP

Aguero escapes punishment as Wigan probe FA Cup crowd trouble

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero will not face punishment from the Football Association following an altercation with a Wigan fan after the Premier League leaders’ shock FA Cup defeat.

Aguero became involved in a physical exchange with a Wigan supporter as hundreds of fans spilled onto the pitch following the League One side’s 1-0 victory in the fifth-round tie on Monday night.

TV footage of the chaos at the DW Stadium appeared to show Aguero raising his arm to push away the fan and later having to be restrained. It is understood Aguero claims he was spat at.

The Argentine will face no disciplinary action from the FA following the incident, although City’s all-time record goalscorer has been “reminded of his responsibilites”.

However, the governing body confirmed it has charged both City and Wigan for failing to control their players after Fabian Delph was sent off in the first half.

“Both Wigan Athletic and Manchester City have been charged for failing to control their players in relation to the dismissal of Fabian Delph during last night’s Emirates FA Cup fifth-round tie,” an FA statement said.

“The clubs have until 6pm on Friday 23 February 2018 to respond.

“In addition, both clubs have been asked to provide their observations following the crowd trouble at the end of the game and have until Monday 26 February 2018 to respond.”

The dismissal prompted a confrontation between City manager Pep Guardiola and his Wigan counterpart Paul Cook.

Their argument continued in the tunnel after the sides left the field at half-time and television pictures showed Guardiola having to be held back by colleagues.

Guardiola later played down that incident, suggesting he had been annoyed that Cook had left his technical area.

“Nothing happened in the tunnel, nothing happened with my colleague,” the Spaniard said. “It was just ‘please stay in your position’, that’s all, and then finished.”

The FA is understood to be satisfied that no misconduct took place during the interval.

Investigation launched

Wigan earlier on Tuesday announced a full investigation into the crowd disturbances that marred the club’s dramatic victory which came courtesy of a 79th-minute strike from Will Grigg, ending City’s quest for a historic quadruple.

A number of fans also headed towards the end where City supporters were sitting to continue celebrations, sparking further disturbances.

Advertising hoardings were ripped out and thrown onto the pitch along with other objects, while missiles were also thrown from the pitch into the stand. There were also clashes between fans and police and stewards.

Police made two arrests on suspicion of affray following an incident outside the ground.

“While we appreciate that the vast majority of supporters who ran on to the pitch did so spontaneously to celebrate a famous victory, we were disappointed with the action of a minority of supporters who acted in an inappropriate manner,” said Wigan chief executive Jonathan Jackson.

“Player and staff safety is of paramount importance and we will conduct a full investigation.”

Chief Superintendent Stuart Ellison of Greater Manchester Police said such behaviour would not be tolerated.

“As soon as people were on the pitch, we immediately deployed our resources to the front of the stands, where they were able to keep the two groups of supporters apart and prevent any further disruption,” he said.

Police added in a statement that no injuries had been reported.

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