Arsenal say they are “very disappointed” after police moved their Premier League fixture against Chelsea at the Emirates from April 29 to May 2.
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 to the evening of Tuesday May 2 due to the local police’s request.
A Premier 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.”
April 16: West Ham (A) – Premier League, kick-off 2pm, live on Sky Sports
April 21: Southampton (H) – Premier League, kick-off 8pm, live on Sky Sports
April 26: Man City (A) – Premier League, kick-off 8pm
April 29: Chelsea (H) – Premier League, kick-off 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports
May 7: Newcastle (A) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports
May 13: Brighton (H) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm
May 20: Nottingham Forest (A) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm
May 28: Wolves (H) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm