Portsmouth's promotion rivals Oxford call police after alleging Sunderland coach headbutted keeper during half-time brawl

Boss Karl Robinson revealed Oxford called the police after alleging keeper Jack Stevens was headbutted by a Sunderland coach during a ‘massive brawl’ at half-time of today’s League One fixture.

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 6:58 pm
SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: Sunderland player Max Power celebrates in front of the Oxford bench after scoring the third Sunderland goal during the Sky Bet League One match between Sunderland and Oxford United at Stadium of Light on April 02, 2021 in Sunderland, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The Black Cats delivered a 3-1 victory over the U’s at the Stadium of Light in a fiesty affair between the promotion rivals.

Oxford had Mark Sykes sent off while manager Robinson was also dismissed for his protests after Aiden McGeady had put Sunderland ahead late on.

Robinson said: ‘It wasn't alleging. My goalkeeper, he was headbutted at half-time, there was a massive brawl in there.

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‘We have asked the police to come. Their players have seen it, our players have seen it. My player certainly felt it.

‘But for some unknown reason there is no footage. Ironic here, isn't it? They've had documentary cameras everywhere in the last few years.

‘We will let the police deal with it. They have no cameras in the tunnel but their player saw it. Our goalkeeper will make a charge at the end of the game.

‘I am furious. So many things I could say. We have to keep our dignity.’

Sunderland boss Lee Johnson said: ‘He’s (Robinson) got to be careful, I’ll tell you that. There are always two sides to any story. Let me tell you, there was a lot of Oxford staff that didn’t come out of it smelling of roses, let’s just say that.

‘I didn’t see the first incident (at half-time), but I saw the second one and, for me, it was really stepping over the mark. So, I think there’s a bit of deflection in there from a few people.

‘I want to draw a line under it now. For me, it’s a man’s game and we’ll crack on. It’s up to anybody else what they do, but I would be careful throwing out some of the things that I’ve heard.

‘I didn’t see what happened at half-time. I was in the toilet, waiting for the boys in the dressing room wondering where everybody was. It was probably a good thing because I would have been like Scrappy Doo in there.

‘Look, it happens all the time, especially in a condensed area. It was handbags a lot of it. It happened at the end as well, which is not ideal, and I think that one was provoked, to be honest with you. As a football club, I want us to act with class, but I also want us to look after each other when there’s moments.’