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Gary Neville rips into pitch-invading Man City fans: ‘They’re not kids, they’re 40-year-old blokes’

City pitch invasion
City supporters could not resist the urge to invade the pitch - PA/Martin Rickett

Gary Neville tore into Manchester City fans for delaying their club’s fourth consecutive Premier League coronation when players had to beg supporters to stop invading the pitch.

Hundreds of fans crowded onto the touchline at the Etihad Stadium in the final minute of time-added-on, with City leading West Ham 3-1 and doing enough to see off Arsenal’s challenge on the final day of the season.

Players took matters into their own hands, with both Erling Haaland and Rodri approaching the stands to express their anger with those individuals who had starting celebrating prematurely – resulting in referee John Brooks delaying the game and the final whistle.

Erling Haaland berates City supporters
Haaland was among the City players who remonstrated with the supporters massed on the touchline - Reuters/Lee Smith

Commentating on Sky Sports, Neville suggested the scenes had spoiled the inevitable trophy celebrations.

“They are even getting booed by their own fans,” former Manchester United defender Neville said on Sky Sports. “To be fair Bernardo Silva is going over to them, he is furious. He’s absolutely right.

“It’s not your first title. All the City fans are over toward them saying ‘get back in the stands.’

“They are not kids either, by the way; 40-odd-year-old blokes.

“What a shame the City players aren’t able to celebrate out on the pitch. Some [fans] have decided... well a lot have decided to fill it themselves. Not sure it’s going down well with the rest of the stadium.”

Once order was restored, the final minute of the match played out before City fans dashed for the safety of the dressing rooms, with thousands of City supporters flooding the Etihad Stadium pitch the moment the whistle went.

City successfully defended the Premier League title thanks to two first-half goals from Phil Foden, and although West Ham did briefly tease a fightback when Mohammed Kudus pulled a goal back, Rodri put the result beyond doubt with City’s third just shy of the hour to start the party.

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