fan protest

WATCH: Sunderland fans leave in droves, few charge dugout during poor 1st half

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The home crowd had its fill of misery well before the score line was complete at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland allowed four first-half goals to an Aston Villa side that hadn’t scored more than two in a Premier League match this season, and fans left in droves after the third goal.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Several fans encroached on the Sunderland dugout to give fiery words to the bench and coaches, and had to be restrained by stewards in Northeast England.

What a photo: Lazio plays to near-empty Stadio Olimpico as fans protest club president

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You know that wacky guy who calls into a sports radio talk show and claims that the higher-ups would get a true picture of the fans discontent if they all just stayed away for a match?

Well, Lazio supporters did just that. Just a sprinkling of fans were in the stands at Stadio Olimpico as Lazio fell to Atalanta by a 1-0 score on Sunday in Serie A action.

The fans have been angry with club president Claudio Lotito, and it hasn’t been eased by poor form on the pitch. Some of the folks who did attend the match voiced their displeasure with signs like “It’s him  or us” or “Lazio is ours and we will leave it to our children,” according to a BBC report.

There have been a number of problems at Lazio this season, including the firing of manager Vladimir Petkovic and the transfer of popular midfielder Hernanes. After the sale, there was a protest march attended by nearly 40,000 fans.

Lazio coach Edoardo Reja responded to the sight of an empty Olimpico:

“It’s a real shame to see the Olimpico deserted. We were in with a chance of achieving something significant but it’s difficult to play in these conditions.

“This situation can’t go on. It’s a disadvantage for us, as we’ve seen today.”

Stay tuned.