Saturday 25 May 2019

Reds vow to find culprits after two police officers are hurt during attack on City bus

Bottles and cans are thrown at the Manchester City bus as it makes its way to Anfield. Photo: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images
Bottles and cans are thrown at the Manchester City bus as it makes its way to Anfield. Photo: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

Tom Cary

Liverpool issued an unreserved apology last night after condemning supporters for attacking the Manchester City team bus with bottles, cans, flares and firecrackers as it arrived at Anfield ahead of their Champions League tie.

City had to source a new coach to take Pep Guardiola and his squad home after the original was no longer deemed roadworthy as a result of the damage.

In disgraceful scenes that were also deplored by Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, the front window of the bus was smashed, as well as the driver's door. No one inside was hurt.

The incident raised questions about Liverpool and Merseyside Police's decision to issue a tweet broadcasting changes to the route the buses were taking to the ground.

Liverpool vowed to work with police and the authorities to root out the culprits, with City hoping those responsible will be prosecuted. Uefa could also launch an investigation.

Klopp said: "We tried everything to avoid a situation like that. All I can do is say sorry."

"We don't understand it. There was a lot of talk about it before. We tried everything to avoid it. For Liverpool FC I have to say sorry."

Guardiola added: "I want to say thank you to Jurgen for his words - for apologising. We didn't expect that, after what happened in Dortmund last season. People asked me but I thought the police would know. It didn't happen.

"Nothing happened for the players to be healthy. I know it's not Liverpool. I know as a club they are much bigger than this. Hopefully it doesn't happen again."

In a statement, Liverpool said: "The club condemns in the strongest possible terms the scenes which preceded our Champions League quarter-final, which resulted in damage being inflicted on the Manchester City team bus.

"We apologise unreservedly to Pep Guardiola, his players, staff and officials. The behaviour of a number of individuals was unacceptable and the club will co-operate with the authorities to identify those responsible."

"The priority now is to establish the facts and offer Manchester City whatever support is necessary."

Red flares were also let off as the coach approached the ground despite warnings to fans that they faced prosecution if they used pyrotechnics.

Merseyside Police released a statement on its official website in relation to the damage to Manchester City's team bus.

"We are aware that damage was caused to the Manchester City team bus as it approached Anfield stadium this evening ahead of the Liverpool v Manchester City match," match commander superintendent Paul White explained.

"Thankfully no one on the bus was injured, but injuries were caused to two of our officers when projectiles were thrown towards the bus. The officers and stewards are there to protect the public and keep them safe.

"This behaviour by a number of people who threw bottles, cans and pyrotechnics towards the bus is completely unacceptable and we will conduct enquiries to identify who was responsible and bring them to justice.

"We worked very closely with both clubs to ensure the safety of the public and the teams themselves, and it is disappointing to see that a number of people behaved in this appalling way." (© The Daily Telegraph, London)

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