English Premiership

United, LFC may face Uefa sanctions

2016-03-18 12:28
Galatasaray fans (AFP)

Cape Town - Manchester United and Liverpool could face UEFA sanctions after fans lit flares and scuffles broke out during Thursday's Europa League tie at Old Trafford.

Liverpool progressed to the quarterfinals 3-1 on aggregate after Philippe Coutinho cancelled out Anthony Martial's penalty opener to secure a 1-1 draw in the second leg but the tie was marred by some unruly fan behaviour during both games.

A handful of Liverpool fans sitting in the top tier of the East Stand among the home supporters unfurled a banner in the dying minutes of the game, sparking clashes in which punches were thrown and a seat hurled.

Liverpool fans in the lower tier of the stand began chanting "Munich" in a reference to the 1958 air disaster while the fighting progressed.

Police and stewards were forced to form a human shield to separate the two sets of supporters and Greater Manchester Police confirmed making five arrests and said they were investigating a "handful of concerning incidents".

"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," Superintendent Jim Liggett, match commander for the tie, told British media.

"We have made a total of five arrests."

Fans also lit flares shortly after Coutinho equalised at the end of the first half.

In the first-leg at Anfield, Liverpool's 2-0 victory was marred by a section of United supporters chanting about the Hillsborough stadium disaster, when 96 Liverpool fans died following a crush of bodies at an FA Cup semifinal against Nottingham Forest in 1989.

United avoided a UEFA sanction as the match officials did not mention the incident in their match report.

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