Roy Keane
Sky Sports' Roy Keane was the victim of an alleged headbutt whilst on punditry duties at the Emirates Stadium. Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters

Former Manchester United legend, Roy Keane, was the subject of an alleged headbutt this past weekend when he was working for Sky Sports, covering the Arsenal and Manchester United fixture at the Emirates Stadium.

Footage of the aftermath of the alleged incident went viral on social media, showing Keane's fellow pundit, and former Manchester City player, Micah Richards, confronting the alleged assaulter in question and attempting to handle the matter. On Monday, the Metropolitan Police confirmed that a 42-year-old man had been arrested for the incident but did not name anyone in its statement.

The statement from the Metropolitan Police read: "Police are investigating an incident at Emirates Stadium on Sunday, 3 September, during which a man was assaulted. On Monday, 4 September, a 42-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault [ABH]. The man has been taken into police custody. Enquiries are ongoing."

A source at the match claimed that Keane was provoking and winding up some Arsenal fans from Sky Sports Studio. This reportedly happened when Alejandro Garnacho thought he had given Manchester United a late 2-1 lead, but his goal was ruled out for a tight offside call after a tense VAR check.

The same source revealed that the incident occurred when Keane was making his way down from the studio to the pitch after the game, to conduct his post-match analysis. Also, the man who allegedly headbutted Keane reportedly came off much worse as he broke his nose after making contact with Keane's shoulder.

Keane is not thought to have suffered any real physical damage from the alleged headbutt and was able to continue his punditry work for Sky Sports, alongside Richards and former Arsenal forward, Theo Walcott. Both Keane and Richards gave their own statements to the Metropolitan Police.

A spokesperson for Keane's employer, Sky, said in its statement: "We understand the police are investigating an alleged assault by a member of the public immediately preceding the footage circulating on social media. In the footage seen, Micah Richards was acting to diffuse a situation."

Richards swiftly addressed the incident on the podcast, The Rest Is Football, which he appears on with fellow pundits and former players, Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer.

Richards confirmed he cannot speak on the incident as of now, clarifying: "Oh my word. Gary, I'm not allowed to talk about it."

However, when Richards is free to properly speak on the matter, The Rest is Football listeners will hear about it before anyone else. He pronounced: "When I am allowed to talk about it, The Rest Is Football will get it first."

Arsenal addressed the alleged assault on Keane with a spokesperson stating: "We are aware of an incident that took place during our match against Manchester United on Sunday. The Metropolitan Police are conducting an investigation into the matter and we are fully cooperating with their enquiries."

As a former Manchester United talisman who competed in fierce games against Arsenal in his playing career, Keane has always been on the receiving end of criticism and harsh remarks from Arsenal supporters. However, most of that is humorous or light-hearted and is more telling of the massive rivalry that exists between Arsenal and Manchester United supporters.

Keane began working for Sky Sports as a pundit in 2019 and is regularly seen on viewers' screens on 'Super Sunday'. Often Keane is in the headlines and trends across social media for his cutthroat and ruthless analysis, especially when it comes to discussing issues at his old club, Manchester United.

It remains to be seen how severely the man arrested for the alleged headbutt is punished and what the consequences will be for him regarding any future visits to the Emirates Stadium.

For Keane, it will not have been a great day for him as he watched his former side lose 3-1 to Arsenal, with two goals coming late in stoppage time from the Gunners.