LIVERPOOL: Police in Liverpool have issued an appeal for members of the public to to send them footage of Manchester City’s team bus being attacked at Anfield on Wednesday.
Cans, bottles and flares were hurled at the bus as a crowd gathered before the 3-0 Champions League quarter-final first-leg loss to Liverpool. European football’s governing body UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Liverpool.
City manager manager Pep Guardiola said he “doesn’t understand” the attack while assistant Manuel Estiarte posted footage from inside the bus on social media and called the incident “unacceptable”.
No players or staff were injured but two police officers were hurt and the coach was left unsafe to be driven.
UEFA has charged Liverpool over the setting off of fireworks, throwing objects, acts of damage and crowd disturbances. The case will be dealt with by its disciplinary body on May 31.
Before the match, Merseyside Police had issued a statement saying the two team coaches would “not be taking their usual route” because of “building works and to ensure the safety of fans”.
Liverpool also shared the statement and asked their supporters “to gather to show their passion and support for the team… in a friendly, respectful and considerate manner”.
Merseyside Police match commander, superintendent Paul White, said two officers suffered cuts and swelling after one was struck by an object and another cut by glass during the incident.
White said the force would do “everything in our power” to find the people responsible as they review CCTV and officers’ body-camera footage. He added: “We know many people were filming the events with camera phones and ask that anyone with any footage of the projectiles being thrown send it to a dedicated email address so it can be reviewed.”
Guardiola said he “did not expect” the incident to happen and referenced the attack on the Borussia Dortmund team bus last April, which left defender Marc Bartra injured.
He added: “Normally when the police know it is going to happen, they tried to avoid it from happening. One year ago something happened in Dortmund. We come here to play football and I don’t understand this kind of situation.
“The bus is destroyed but I did not expect a prestigious club like Liverpool doing this kind of thing. It is not Liverpool, it is the people, maybe one, two or three, but hopefully it does not happen again.”
Liverpool said: “We apologise unreservedly to Pep Guardiola, his players, staff and officials. The priority now is to establish the facts and offer Manchester City whatever support is necessary.”