Newcastle United winger Matt Ritchie has this afternoon moved to provide an explanation for his ‘blanking’ of Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the footage of which has been going viral online over the last 48 hours.
The Magpies welcomed Arsenal to St. James’ Park for a Premier League clash on Sunday afternoon, with the Gunners eventually throwing away an early lead to fall to a 2-1 defeat courtesy of goals from Ayoze Perez and Matt Ritchie.
Following the full-time whistle on Tyneside, a piece of footage involving Newcastle match-winner Ritchie and Arsenal hitman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang quickly went viral across social media, with the latter baring the brunt of the joke.
The clip, linked below, showcases Aubameyang congratulating Ayoze Perez on his side’s victory, before turning his attentions towards the approaching Ritchie.
However, the Magpies star, who looked as though he was set to exchange post-match pleasantries of his own with Aubameyang, swiftly switched his attentions to Perez, leaving the former looking rather silly:
Matt Ritchie royally mugged off Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the end of yesterday’s game 🎣😆 pic.twitter.com/KAmweHL1mC
— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) April 16, 2018
The general consensus regarding the footage was that Ritchie had purposely blanked Aubameyang, but, as per an explanation from the Scottish wide-man himself this afternoon, this was in fact far from the case:
‘I can only apologise,’ Ritchie divulged on TalkSPORT.
‘Honestly, I didn’t see him there in the corner of my eye even though in the video it looks like I did.’
‘I was focused on Ayoze and it was not intentional.’