Manchester derby had a sinister edge
MANCHESTER UNITED fans seemingly intent on violence had golf balls, darts and other weapons taken from them as the dark spectre of football hooliganism returned to their Carling Cup meeting with neighbours City on Tuesday night.
Many United fans complained of crushes and slow queues as they tried to enter the stadium for the first leg of their semi-final tie at the home of their rivals but it is understood that the delay was down to the rigorous searching of supporters known to be arriving at the turnstiles with concealed weapons.
Police reports and first-hand accounts revealed that both United and City fans threw coins, plastic bottles and even mobile phones at each other, seats in the away end were also ripped out and thrown into neighbouring sections, while out on the concourse, toilet cubicles were trashed and urinals ripped from the walls.
But it is the revelation that some United fans were carrying darts and golf balls that will alarm the authorities as they look to uphold the image of the English game ahead of next week’s eagerly awaited second leg at Old Trafford.
The evening carried a sinister edge as a minority of the 9,000 away fans and 37,000 home supporters seemed intent on trouble.
Accounts from the Greater Manchester Police and from eyewitnesses revealed that there were skirmishes outside the stadium before and after the game, with rocks thrown across roads and bricks hurled through car windows.
Police made 18 arrests on what they described as a “challenging and potentially dangerous” night.
Six were City fans, 11 were United supporters and one was thought to be a neutral. – Daily Mail