Manchester United and Liverpool supporters were involved in violent clashes inside Old Trafford during last night’s Europa League clash.
Jurgen Klopp’s side progressed to the quarter-finals after drawing 1-1 on the night (winning 3-1 on aggregate) – but the game was marred by fighting between the two sets of supporters.
Police and stewards were forced to step in after a group of Liverpool fans sneaked into the upper tier with the home supporters and unveiled a banner.
Liverpool Echo reporter James Pearce said: “Around half a dozen Liverpool fans sat in the United end unfurled an LFC banner and United fans around them reacted angrily.
“Punches were thrown before the police and stewards stepped in to restore calm.
“As the fighting was taking place a number of Liverpool fans in the lower tier chanted ‘Munich’ – a reference to the 1958 disaster.
“The game had earlier been blighted by chants from the United supporters about the Hillsborough tragedy.”
Greater Manchester Police made five arrests following the fighting.
Superintendent Jim Liggett, match commander for the Manchester United v Liverpool match said: “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.”
It comes after Red Devils fans were accused of referencing the Hillsborough disaster in the first leg at Anfield.
There were also ugly scenes before the game as fans travelling into Manchester from Liverpool had been met with an abusive banner that read “murderers”.
Supporters arriving for the last-16 second leg tie against their arch-rivals were greeted with the offensive message on the outskirts of the city.
Never seen so many smashed seats pic.twitter.com/4jd9uQKlcH
— RobinLFC (@Robish13) March 17, 2016
It was tied to a sheet on a bridge over the M602 in Salford, just a couple of miles from Old Trafford and a route used by many Merseyside-based supporters heading to the game.
It also contained the date of the Hillsborough disaster, in which 96 Liverpool fans died at the FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.
Greater Manchester Police were alerted to the motorway banner and swiftly took it down.