The inevitable consequence of the police allowing troublemaking Liverpool fans to remain amongst home fans pic.twitter.com/3I1nivXTGb
— James Coatsworth (@j_coatsworth) March 17, 2016
Skirmishes breaking out in the east upper stand pic.twitter.com/6aI5ixV7Gk
— ZAG-KAG (@1811MAG) March 17, 2016
Both Manchester United and Liverpool have been charged by Uefa following crowd trouble during the Europa League last-16 second leg at Old Trafford.
Rival fans managed to get into proximity to one another in the stands, sparking violent scenes as seats were thrown and flares were lit at Thursday’s 1-1 draw. Five men were arrested following the unrest.
Jurgen Klopp’s side progressed to the quarter-finals of the Europa League after winning 3-1 on aggregate – but the game will be remembered for the ugly scenes off the field, rather than the action on it.
Police and stewards were under pressure once again to defuse the animosity in the stands after a group of Liverpool fans sneaked into the upper tier alongside the home supporters and unveiled a provocative banner.
The police and stewards were almost overrun by furious Manchester United supporters, keen to get their hands on the jeering Liverpool fans who had invaded their section of the ground.
Unfazed by the police presence in the stands, bitter fans clashed right under the noses of officers as they struggled to get the situation under control.
For one riled Manchester United fan, the conflict ended with a savage punch straight on the bridge of his nose:
Police eventually managed to separate the rival fans and formed a garrison around the slightly bruised Liverpool fans.
Casting light on the situation following the game, Police Superintendent Jim Liggett, match commander for the Europa League tie commented:
“The policing operation for the Manchester United v Liverpool match has now come to an end and towards the end of the game there were a handful of concerning incidents which are currently being investigated.
“We have made a total of five arrests however the behaviour of the majority of fans in attendance was excellent and I would like to thank them for their co-operation throughout.”