Earlier this season, Manchester United beat Chelsea 3-2 at Stamford Bridge, with the blues reduced to nine men. United had gone 2-0 up early on only to see Chelsea claw two goals back. With quarter of an hour remaining, Javier Hernandez scored the winning goal.
Our Mexican isn’t very popular with Chelsea fans because of how regularly he scores against them. Last season, before he was stretchered off the field after Ashley Cole took him out, the travelling Chelsea fans sang “let him die!” on repeat.
Following his goal against Chelsea this season, he ran past the Chelsea fans with a smile on his face, making a ‘C’ with his hand for his sister, as he usually does. The Chelsea fans responded by hurling down coins and ripping up their seats to throw at him. Their reaction was so over the top that they even injured one of their stewards, who had to be taken to hospital. Little was made of this in the press though due to Chelsea’s false double claim of racism against referee Mark Clattenburg.
Several Chelsea fans argued that the United players deserved to have these things thrown at them because they purposefully provoked the fans. It seems incredible to me that a grown man can’t bear the sight of an opposition player scoring a goal against them, so feels as though it is entirely justified to lob coins and seats at them. If seeing a player celebrate a goal is too much for you to handle emotionally, maybe football isn’t the sport for you.
Football fans believe they’re entitled to sing about players dying, their kids dying, their wives leaving them, being shit footballers, a waste of money and so on, but if a player celebrates a goal, they are fair game for stuff to be thrown at them. How precious is that? If you give it out, you have to be man enough to take it. From Rio’s perspective at Stamford Bridge, given the fans there boo his every touch and idolise the man who racially abused his brother, why on earth shouldn’t he celebrate in front of them? When did football fans get so soft?
Ryan Giggs has reflected on the game at Stamford Bridge and revealed that he was one of the players who got hit by the coins and seats that rained down on them.
“It happens,” Giggs said. “I think it’s tough for someone to get hit in the face, for everyone to sort of make a big a thing out of it. I got hit at Chelsea when Javier Hernandez scored. It’s not just one club, it’s not just City, it’s not just Chelsea. Every club, the excitement and the passion we all want but we don’t want it to tip over the edge. A centimetre either side and Rio loses an eye, it’s so dangerous. We don’t want to see it. It is up to the clubs and the police, the FA to do everything in our power to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”