It was a sublime performance from the Blues against Swansea yesterday. It was the first game after winning the Premier League for the third time and it was at home. Sure, the trophy presentation has to wait until the Huddersfield game, but try telling that to some passionate Mancs!
At the final whistle, and a 5-0 celebration, fans slowly started to encroach on the pitch. One or two led to a few hundred in a matter of moments with stewards failing to stem the flow. Players were embraced, kissed and had their pictures taken before finally getting into the tunnel.
At the tunnel, and with an announcement to leave the field, the fans went through a whole range of chants, including Yaya/Kolo Toure. It was sheer excitement, enjoyment and appreciation of their heroes and the performance. Not just the season.
In his post match presser, Manager Pep Guardiola was asked of the incident. When confronted with the fact City could be fined, he shrugged. He said it wasn’t a problem and that football is an emotional game and the fans should celebrate.
Clearly understanding the safety issue, he made no secret that he’d prefer it didn’t happen. That said, he also made it clear he would be the last person to tell them how to celebrate. I think Pep is embracing the love felt by the City fans and appreciates it.
Monday morning came and Manchester City were all ready for a fine. Most likely a representative was outside the Premier League HQ with a blank check, ready to financially make things right. However, news quickly came that City would not face any sanctions.
After the footage was reviewed it was clear that no disciplinary issues came to the front. Nor were there any incidents reported. Unlike the incident at Wigan, when Wigan were fined as their fans invaded the pitch. Fans confronted City striker Aguero, who needed to defend himself.
Tottenham fans invaded the field last season, after playing their final game at White Hart Lane and Manchester City fans have invaded the pitch twice before, both after winning the title. Deemed more celebratory in nature than mischievous, the governing body have made a smart decision here I think.