Lille fans invade pitch to confront players after Montpellier draw
Last Updated: 11/03/18 9:58am
Lille players were forced to flee from the pitch at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Saturday after being attacked by their own fans following a 1-1 draw with Montpellier.
Hundreds of supporters of the struggling Ligue 1 side invaded the field after the full-time whistle to confront the home team, with the security personnel at the stadium unable to prevent the mass encroachment.
Nicolas Pepe, who had earlier given Lille a 41st-minute lead, was approached by a number of fans before being shepherded down the tunnel by stewards.
Lille are currently second bottom of Ligue 1 and fans of the club have directed their anger towards the players and club president Gerard Lopez in recent weeks.
Lille manager Christophe Galtier says he understands the fans' frustrations but labelled their actions on Saturday as unacceptable.
"They are fans who lost control, but they are also fans who are unhappy and sad," Galtier said. "I don't accept that my players are punched, that my players are treated this way."
Lille striker Yassine Benzia admits his team-mates feared for their safety at the end of the match.
"We understand the reaction but we can't accept that players have been attacked," Benzia said. "There is a limit not to cross. I was already in the locker room but the group is quite young and some players were scared."
West Ham's game against Burnley on Saturday afternoon was also marred by crowd trouble, after a number of pitch invasions interrupted the 3-0 defeat for the Hammers.