Title-chasing Arsenal’s league match against Chelsea has been pushed back three days after the Metropolitan Police “revised its position”, the Premier League has announced.
The Gunners are fighting it out with reigning champions Manchester City for the title and currently boast a six-point cushion, although Pep Guardiola’s side have a game in hand.
The teams also meet at the Etihad Stadium on April 26 – a match that Arsenal were set to follow with an all-London clash against Chelsea on April 29.
But the Premier League has announced that the fixture is being switched from its Saturday night kick-off until the evening of Tuesday, May 2 due on the local police’s request.
A league statement read: “The initial scheduling of this match was approved at a Safety Advisory Group (SAG) meeting in February.
“However, the Metropolitan Police has now revised its position regarding the kick-off time and requested a further SAG meeting which determined the match had to be rescheduled.
“We regret the need to move this fixture at late notice and the impact this will have on supporters. The game will remain live on Sky Sports.”
Arsenal expressed their frustration with the decision to move the match from a Saturday evening kick-off to a Tuesday night.
“This change has been made as a result of the Metropolitan Police revising its position on policing the match,” the club said on their official website.
“After working to try to find a solution with the Met Police, we are very disappointed with the impact and disruption this fixture change will cause to our supporters, particularly after this match had been initially approved for a Saturday evening kick-off.”
The Football Supporters’ Association also hit out at the late change with just over two weeks’ notice.
The fan body posted on Twitter: “More disruption for fans and not the first time this season the authorities have shown such little regard for matchgoing supporters.”