Everton’s Europa League match against Lyon on Thursday was interrupted in the 64th minute when Everton captain Ashley Williams unnecessarily barged into Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes. Lopes went tumbling toward the advertising boards, and Lyon teammates immediately rushed to his defense.
The confrontation soon descended into something in between a scuffle and a brawl. It was eventually sorted out, with players and staff calming those at the heart of it. Play resumed shortly thereafter. Only two yellow cards were issued, to Williams and Lyon’s Bertrand Traore.
But the most dangerous aspect of the fight was its location: Right near Everton fans. With only a few feet separating crowd and pitch at Goodison Park, supporters rushed to join in. And the most heated of them was a middle-aged man carrying a young kid with what looks like a pacifier in his mouth:
Reaction No. 1: This is insane, and the innocent, bemused look of the toddler throughout is quite amusing.
Reaction No. 2, which should probably be reaction No. 1: This is completely unacceptable behavior. Never mind the child in the man’s arms, which makes it worst. Leaving your seat to get involved in a fight between players is disgusting and dangerous.
And the fan doesn’t just get involved. He makes contact with Lopes at least once, pushing his head. He then appears to lash out again, and possibly makes contact again. He’ll surely face repercussions – perhaps ones that extend beyond a stadium ban.
Reaction No. 3: Everton is really bad. It lost 2-1, and has now won just two of its 12 games in all competitions since a 1-1 draw at Manchester City on the second weekend of the Premier League season.