Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe has called for better security in the English Premier League after being targeted in a shocking incident that has left the football world up in arms. The Magpies' manager was confronted by an angry Leeds fan during his side's 2-2 draw with the hosts at Elland Road.
Serious questions are being raised about the competency of stewards at the ground after the Leeds supporter was able to climb down from the stands and gain access to the side of the pitch where Howe was standing. The man entered the technical area and could be seen prodding Howe and gesturing angrily in the Newcastle manager's face, before being whisked away by security.
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Leeds later confirmed that the rogue supporter had been arrested and banned for life by the club. An understandably shaken Howe said the incident was a massive wake-up call and showed there is work to do to ensure the safety of managers and players can be guaranteed in hostile environments.
— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) May 13, 2023
"I actually can't remember whether he pushed me or not, I've got no idea, it's such a strange thing because you're concentrating on the game and you don't expect it to happen," Howe said.
"He confronted me, said something that I can't repeat and was then led away. I'm OK, moments like that do make you think... the safety of staff and players is paramount for me at any matches in the Premier League and Football League. We need to be mindful, security is so important.
"I don't know if I had time to be fearful because it was over in a flash but it certainly makes you think 'What if' and I think it is moments like this that should make people look and analyse how we can improve safety for staff and players." Viewers were understandably disgusted about the incident, with many insisting Howe was fortunate the man wasn't carrying a weapon or intending to cause physical harm to the Magpies' boss.
— stephen (@stephenindurham) May 13, 2023
The fact that this "fan" was able to get all the way up in Eddie Howe's face is disgusting & appalling. The Leeds United security staff should be fired! Nobody should be able to get to a club's staff during a match. DO BETTER LEEDS UNITED!
— WickedDust420 (@WickedDust420) May 13, 2023
Absolutely disgusting. Lifetime ban minimum. Initial thought was next match behind closed doors. Clubs should ensure that sufficient security is in place. That thug actually got his hands on Eddie Howe, lucky really as this could have ended up much worse!
— tug🦁 (@BuyacidOrchid) May 13, 2023
— Layla (C) (@claret_yogi) May 13, 2023
Leeds stewards are a disgrace- how they let that fan get anywhere close to Eddie Howe could have had a bottle or weapon.
— breezer sheehy (@BreezerSheehy) May 13, 2023
— Finn 🇬🇧🇨🇦 (@TheBritCadian) May 13, 2023
Southampton the first Premier League side to be relegated
On a dramatic day of action in the Premier League, Southampton became the first team relegated to the Championship after a disappointing home defeat to Fulham. The Saints' 11-year stay in the top flight ended with a 2-0 result that was their 24th loss of a forgettable season.
Not even the presence of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at St. Mary's stadium could inspire Southampton, with the south-coast team consigned to life in the Championship with two games to spare. "It is a moment that has been coming," said James Ward-Prowse, Southampton's England midfielder afterwards.
"We knew we had put ourselves in a difficult position. When these things happen you go away individually and as a club and ask if you have done enough? I don't think we have."
At the other end of the league, Manchester United has almost done enough to secure a return to the Champions League. United rebounded from back-to-back losses to ignite its push to reach Europe's top competition with a 2-0 win over Wolves, following goals from Anthony Martial and Garnacho.
United moved level on points with third-placed Newcastle - who drew at Leeds 2-2 - with both teams four points clear of fifth-placed Liverpool in the race for a top-four finish. All three teams have three games left.
Tottenham dropped out of contention for Champions League qualification after losing 2-1 at Aston Villa. The result left the Villains level on points with Spurs.
With Southampton down, there are two more relegation spots to fill and two of the four teams in most danger — Leeds and Nottingham Forest — showed fighting spirit to avoid the drop.
Leeds' draw with Newcastle came after a battling 2-1 loss at Manchester City and left the team only a point from safety. Forest also drew at Chelsea 2-2 to stay three points above the bottom three. Crystal Palace beat Bournemouth 2-0 in the other game with Eberechi Eze scoring twice.
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