Six arrests as Manchester United and Leeds fans fight ahead of Premier League clash

14 August 2021, 13:12 | Updated: 15 August 2021, 07:57

Six arrests were made as the Premier League returned
Six arrests were made as the Premier League returned. Picture: Alamy
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Manchester United and Leeds United fans have been filmed fighting in the streets ahead of the two teams' opening Premier League clash.

Footage posted on social media showed supporters of the fierce rivals brawling outside a café in Manchester city centre.

Five arrests were made in relation to public order offences and another made on suspicion of drug offences.

One video shared on Twitter shows dozens of men chasing others down a road, with some brandishing chairs as weapons.

Multiple punches and projectiles are thrown during the clip, which was uploaded alongside the caption: "Scrapping."

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Dozens of men could be seen brawling on a street ahead of the game
Dozens of men could be seen brawling on a street ahead of the game. Picture: Twitter

One man who was knocked down during the fight was hit three times with a wheelie bin before a police officer stepped in to break it up.

During the recording, a man inside the café can be heard saying: "Good job we're in here."

Others in the building can be seen looking on in shock as the rival fans caused chaos outside.

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Another video, filmed from a distance and captioned "United vs Leeds", shows dozens more rowdy men sprinting down a road.

Two officers can be seen chasing them while they continued to launch projectiles at each other.

Officers will remain in the city for the rest of the day to keep the public safe during and after the game.

Chief Superintendent Stuart Ellison, Gold Commander for the public order operation, said: "Despite isolated incidents of disorder in the city centre prior to kick-off, today's events at Old Trafford largely passed without police incident and I would like to thank the majority of the public for their cooperation throughout the day.

"There were many challenges around today's operation, and our officers were working extended hours to help ensure that events passed safely and without significant disruption for the wider public going about their weekend activity.

"Six arrests were made over the course of the day; five in relation to public order offences and one on suspicion of drug offences. These suspects remain in custody in cells in Greater Manchester for questioning this evening.

"Work has begun immediately, in conjunction with football investigating officers from both Manchester United and Leeds United, to identify offenders of other incidents of disorder so that we are able to bring them to book for their mindless actions.

"Today was an important day for a lot of people with the return of capacity crowds at venues that have remained absent for such a long time, and I would like to thank the public, our officers and our partners from all agencies involved who helped make sure today was a safe and enjoyable affair for a vast majority of those concerned."

Manchester United thrashed Leeds 5-1 in Saturday's game.