Tensions threatened to spill again outside Old Trafford after Manchester United fans rallied again to protest against Glazer’s property ahead of their rescheduled match with Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp’s squad traveled to Old Trafford after their clash was postponed on May 2 after fans broke into Old Trafford and raided the field for kick-off.
United had stepped up the security presence ahead of tonight’s game, which started at 8:15 p.m., with dozens of security personnel and Greater Manchester Police officers preparing additional barriers outside Old Trafford.
Supporters flocked to United’s ground to grumble with the club’s US billionaire owners, displaying yellow and green torches while displaying anti-Glazer banners.
Tensions threatened to spill over at Old Trafford when Man United fans protested again
Anti-Glazer protesters have gathered to grumble about Glazer’s property
United fans are desperate for their billionaire owners to sell after years of steady decline
Preparations for United’s game have changed pending further protests
United has stepped up police and security presence as a result of the chaos earlier this month
There were concerns about a delay in tonight’s kickoff after footage circulating on social media showed a vehicle believed to be an official Liverpool bus blocked on a side street in Manchester.
Athletic reporter Daniel Taylor said the bus’s tires had been cut and police were on the scene quickly to make sure the vehicle could continue moving.
Klopp’s squad doesn’t seem to have been on that bus, however, with his squad arriving in a black bus at Old Trafford at about 7pm, an hour and 15 minutes before kick-off.
Ahead of tonight’s rescheduled date, security personnel have taken every precaution to formulate a plan well in advance to avoid repetition of fan protest.
A Liverpool bus was reportedly blocked and had its tires in the run-up to United’s game
Images on social media showed an official bus blocked on a side street in Manchester
Police quickly began to move the bus in an effort to prevent a repeat of the May 2 chaos
United stars also changed their normal routine as they drove themselves into Old Trafford in the early afternoon to beat the fans to the stadium, after being barricaded at the Lowry Hotel when chaos dominated the run-up to the original meeting.
“Nothing else for us, the most important thing for us is to focus on the game now,” United star Bruno Fernandes told Sky Sports from Old Trafford.
Thursday’s protests are considered “ calm and peaceful, ” according to Sky Sports, with large groups of fans gathering in their crowds to blow off yellow and green flares while displaying anti-Glazer banners.
Sportsmail revealed on Wednesday that United has set up a top-secret operation to stop anti-Glazer protesters from disrupting their plans for Thursday’s rescheduled clash with Liverpool.
Liverpool arrived at Old Trafford in a black coach, unlike the one that was blocked
German coach Jurgen Klopp leaves the team bus when the team arrives at Old Trafford
Brazilian striker Roberto Firmino gets off the team coach on Thursday before the game
United has adopted a siege mentality, with players vowing to secrecy about their preparations prior to the day of the match and providing staff with information on a need-to-know basis to prevent leaks and mitigate the security threat.
The club is trying to prevent a repeat of the scenes that caused the game to be postponed 11 days ago when protesters prevented the team from leaving the Lowry Hotel and hundreds of others clashed with police at Old Trafford.
Last week, Carrington’s departure time for the Europa League semi-final against Roma in Italy was kept secret until the last minute amid rumors that fans would try to sabotage the team bus on its way to Manchester Airport.
The players stayed at home for Tuesday’s game against Leicester and were not told to meet on the training ground until Monday evening before traveling to the stadium.
Players got to the ground this afternoon in an effort to avoid delays earlier this month
Security has been strengthened ahead of tonight’s top flight game with additional police presence
Sportsmail understands plans have changed again in the run-up to Thursday night’s game against Liverpool. There was visibly tighter security to prevent further disturbances after it was the first Premier League game to be canceled due to a protest.
United showed a heavy police presence on Tuesday for the home game against Leicester, the first game at Old Trafford since Liverpool’s postponement.
A 3-meter-high red wall was erected in the southeast corner of the stadium – where protesters broke in and entered the field twice – as well as the northern forecourt in front of the Sir Alex Ferguson grandstand.
Additional steel barriers were also placed as part of the increased security operation.
After preparing for a peaceful protest that turned into violence last time, the club is now working to ensure that their three remaining home games of the season continue safely.
Boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer called for calm after the ugly scenes at the beginning of the month, asking fans to keep the peace if they wanted to protest and make their voices heard again.
The United boss said: ‘Security measures are of course being looked at and I hope we can keep the protests – if there are protests – to loud voices, nothing violent.
‘We want to listen. The players want to play the game.
‘We play against Liverpool. Of course we want to beat Liverpool, we want to beat Leicester. So we’re going to do everything we can to make our fans celebrate what we’re doing on the pitch. ‘