Man in hospital after 'mob attack' on Arsenal pie shop before Napoli game

Piebury Corner near the Emirates Stadium was forced to close after dozens of Italian fans reportedly tore through the building smashing windows, breaking chairs and swinging belts

A restaurant popular with Arsenal fans remained closed today after it was attacked by a 'mob' of 30 Napoli fans before last night's Champions League football match.

The group of around 30 Italian supporters stormed into Piebury Corner not far from North London’s Emirates Stadium, swinging belts, smashing windows and breaking chairs.

One man was taken by ambulance to nearby Whittington Hospital after receiving a deep cut to the forehead from a flying belt buckle. Metropolitan police described the incident as “football related”.

With the clear-up getting underway today, restaurant owner Paul Campbell said: “I've looked back at the footage and it is very clear - it was a completely unprovoked attack.”

“I think they just picked us at random because they saw a busy restaurant and they wanted to fight someone – anyone.

“The Arsenal fans were backing away from the trouble, they were trying to get out of the way.”

Witness and member of staff Emily Gould said around 30 men came in while around 50 customers enjoyed a pre-match meal.

“I think they were Italian men with Napoli colours and scarves tied around their faces,” Ms Gould said.

“They were shouting something in Italian, chanting and causing trouble down the street. Then then came in to the shop.

“I was terrified. They started swinging belts around. The customers were very frightened.”

A spokesman for the Metropolitan police said a group of Napoli supporters became involved in a “verbal exchange” with Arsenal fans as they passed the restaurant on their way to the ground.

They said the Napoli fans then turned violent, smashing a window and throwing a number of chairs before moving on.

A man was also arrested in the area for a public order offence, but in an incident unconnected to the damage at Piebury Corner.

A London Ambulance Service spokesman said the 48-year-old man who had to be taken to hospital had suffered injuries that were not thought to be serious.

Piebury Corner later used its Twitter feed to reassure customers. It said a “hardcore group” had caused “45 seconds of chaos at around 7pm”.

It said that despite the “totally unprovoked attack”, the damage would be repaired and they would be back to “business as usual tomorrow”.

Arsenal fan Suzy Quiquero tweeted: “Upset about Napoli fans smashing up @PieburyCorner tonight. Being an Italian AFC fan (English born), I'm so very disappointed. Fuming.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss