“We trust the perpetrator will feel the full force of the law and the authorities investigate the circumstances surrounding today’s deplorable incident.
“Local rivalries are part of the fabric of the game. However, as we are sure our friends at Birmingham City would agree, to have a player’s personal safety placed under such jeopardy is a serious cause for concern for the entire football community.”
Gary Neville led the outcry after the cowardly assault on Grealish, calling for “a huge punishment” while Gary Lineker labelled it “abhorrent”, but there was another deplorable incident to come when Smalling was pushed by an Arsenal supporter as he ran to celebrate with home players after they scored against Manchester United.
“We utterly condemn the behaviour of the individual who ran on to the pitch and approached Chris Smalling,” said Arsenal in a statement. “We would like to apologise to Chris and Manchester United, and are pleased that the individual was apprehended and arrested.