April 10, 2007 / 5:48 PM / 12 years ago

Police contain skirmishes at Old Trafford

An injured supporter is helped as police and fans clash outside Old Trafford stadium ahead of the Champions League quarter final second-leg match between Manchester United and AS Roma in Manchester, April 10, 2007. REUTERS/Toby Melville

MANCHESTER (Reuters) - Trouble flared briefly at Old Trafford about two hours before Manchester United played AS Roma in their Champions League quarter-final second leg on Tuesday.

A Greater Manchester Police spokeswoman told Reuters: “We’ve been required to deal with a number of small and isolated incidents. We have made some arrests in order to maintain peace at the ground.”

There were 18 arrests, seven for stealing goods from the Manchester United megastore, she added after the match, a 7-1 rout for United that sent them into the semi-finals 8-3 on aggregate.

A spokeswoman for the Greater Manchester ambulance service said one male had been taken to hospital with a slight head injury.

Police had been prepared for trouble following disturbances at last week’s first leg when Italian police launched themselves at United fans at the Olympic Stadium in Rome and were widely condemned for their actions.

The trouble on Tuesday, quickly contained by the police, came after a calm afternoon in the city centre where fans of both sides mixed amicably in the spring sunshine.

The atmosphere turned nastier at the ground with small scuffles involving isolated groups of fans and police.

The police quickly moved in and divided fans, creating a no-go area and the situation was soon under control.

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