Wednesday 23 January 2019

Liverpool delay return travel to Manchester as police launch crowd probe


Man City team bus arriving at Anfield
Man City team bus arriving at Anfield
Kevin De Bruyne. Photo: Richard Sellers/PA Wire

Chris Bascombe

Liverpool will delay travel to Manchester for the decisive second leg of their Champions League quarter-final until the day of the game.

Rather than spend the previous evening in the city, and train on the Etihad pitch, Jurgen Klopp has decided his players will remain on Merseyside.

Klopp and one senior player will be required to conduct media duties near the host stadium on the eve of the fixture with Manchester City, but it is a short journey from Liverpool.

Part of the reasoning behind the decision is the lack of a suitable pitch for the squad to train in Manchester on the morning of next Tuesday's game.

Pep Guardiola took his squad to Liverpool 24 hours before the first leg, but had access to Goodison Park for his final warm-up.


As expected, Liverpool are the subject of disciplinary action from UEFA due to the throwing of missiles and crowd disturbances outside the stadium and use of flares.

It is not the first time Liverpool have faced UEFA charges after Champions League and Europa League nights. At the very least, they can expect a substantial fine when a hearing is held on May 31.

Liverpool intend to conduct their own review into the incident, but as was reflected in the club statement condemning it, ultimate responsibility lies with the supporters who chose to tarnish the occasion.

Merseyside Police have asked for members of the public to share video footage to identify culprits. City released images from inside the team coach and feel more preventive measures should have been in place.

Fortunately, no City staff or players were hurt. Midfielder Kevin De Bruyne said the squad was not unduly affected.

"Obviously it's not nice if you see windows breaking, that's not a good thing," he said.

"But I think if supporters line the streets in support without being violent then I think it's OK."

Irish Independent

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