Everton bottle throwing: Supporter charged with assault after Aston Villa players hit

Cash and Digne were struck celebrating Villa's goal by Buendia
Cash and Digne were struck celebrating Villa’s goal by Buendia

An Everton supporter has been charged with assault after Aston Villa’s Lucas Digne and Matty Cash were struck by a plastic bottle thrown from the crowd during Saturday’s Premier League game.

Roger Tweedle, 19, of Cranehurst Road, Walton, was released on conditional bail.

He will appear at South Sefton Magistrates Court on February 28, Merseyside Police said.

Tweedle has also been charged with throwing an item onto the pitch.

A day after the Everton incident, Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger was hit by missiles thrown by Tottenham supporters at Stamford Bridge, leading manager Thomas Tuchel to ask fans to “show respect”.

Rudiger was struck by a lighter thrown from the away section during Chelsea’s 2-0 Premier League win – one of a number of recent incidents involving items thrown onto the pitch.

“I sent the message to our fans – support us, we love to have them close to the pitch, we love a brilliant atmosphere and that they are not behind fences or nets,” said Tuchel.

“From there everybody needs to show respect. But in general I’m not concerned. Right now I enjoy the atmosphere.

“If this is a new trend we need to act together to make sure that it stops as soon as possible, to protect the fantastic environment and unique atmosphere of England.”

Tuchel said he did not see when Rudiger was hit.

“I just heard it some minutes ago, I was actually not aware of all this during the match,” added the German manager.

“I think it was during a corner or around the corner, but I have zero information on that.”

Figures released on Friday showed arrests at football matches across the top-five English leagues are at their highest levels in years, with fan disorder “getting worse” according to the UK’s football policing lead.

The latest data covers the first half of this season – which has seen the return of fans to capacity stadiums after a year of lockdowns and restrictions.

There have been more than 800 football-related arrests in the first six months of the campaign, alongside more than 750 reported incidents of disorder.

In a statement after the Villa game, Everton said the club would ban “any fans identified throwing objects”.

Everton caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson called the incident “disgraceful”.

The bottle-throwing incident follows a similar scene at Elland Road at the beginning of January, when Burnley’s Matt Lowton was struck by a bottle while celebrating a goal against Leeds.

“It just needs to be a lifetime ban for anybody caught doing it. It’s dangerous,” said former Republic of Ireland international Andy Reid on BBC Radio 5 Live.

“If it’s a coin you could cause real damage. Or a full bottle with a lid on it, which they are not supposed to have in there anyway, you could really hurt someone.”

Villa's Ezri Konsa removed the lid and took a sip out of the bottle thrown
Villa’s Ezri Konsa removed the lid and took a sip out of the bottle thrown

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