Six arrests have been made after scuffles broke out ahead of Manchester United’s opening game of the Premier League season against visitors Leeds United, police said.
Fans were filmed hitting each other with chairs and rubbish bins on the streets of Manchester city center on Saturday morning before lunchtime kicked off, videos posted to social media showed.
Greater Manchester Police said that despite “isolated incidents of disorder” before kick-off, the game at Old Trafford went “largely without police incident”.
Police said six arrests were made during the day – five related to public order offenses and one for suspected drug offences.
The force said work was also underway with football investigators from Manchester United and Leeds United to identify those involved in other incidents of disorder.
In a video clip shared on Twitter, which appears to have been filmed from inside a cafe, someone can be heard saying ‘Good job, we’re here’ as a large crowd crosses the street outside .
A member of staff appears to lock the doors to the premises as the men outside throw punches at each other, chairs and bins.
Two police officers armed with batons attempt to disperse the crowd, which is quickly dispersed as a wailing siren approaches.
In another video, fans can also be seen brawling outside a pub before kick-off at Old Trafford.
Chief Superintendent Stuart Ellison said: “Despite isolated incidents of disorder in the town center before kick-off, today’s events at Old Trafford were largely passed without a police incident and I would like to thank the majority of the public for their cooperation throughout the day.
“Six arrests were made during the day; five for breach of public order and one for suspicion of drug-related offences.
“These suspects remain in custody in cells in Greater Manchester for questioning this evening.
“Today was an important day for many with the return of full crowds to venues that had been absent for so long, and I want to thank the public, our officers and our partners from all the agencies involved who helped make sure that today was a safe and enjoyable affair for a large majority of those involved.”
Manchester United ended up beating Leeds United 5-1 in the Premier League’s early kick-off on Saturday.