United take on Leeds as the Premier League returns to Old Trafford today – but the clashes have already started in Manchester city centre.
Leeds fans have been gathering in their hundreds all morning after making the hour journey down the M62, congregating at Yates on Portland Street before spreading out across town.
In what is the most unsurprising news, Manchester is also full of Reds today, as the early kick off pushes punters into the city centre for what is likely to be an all day session for most, before heading to Old Trafford – or staying in town to watch the game.
At around 11am videos began appearing on social media of groups of fans clashing on Deansgate, in what are pretty unpleasant scenes.
It’s difficult to decipher who supports who in these videos, however what is abundantly clear is that two sets of fans have had one too many before the clock strikes lunch.
It was announced last night that Greater Manchester Police were increasing their presence in the city centre today ahead of the match – but it seems the force has had a difficult time fanning the flames this morning.
In a statement, GMP said: “We have officers working tirelessly across #GreaterManchester this weekend to keep the public safe – including at #OldTrafford for one of four football matches taking place this afternoon. Do say hello if you’re walking by.”
Meanwhile, fans are gathering at Old Trafford, where reports suggest its a much more civilised atmosphere.
Let’s just hope the police presence in the city centre increases before the whistle blows at 90 minutes – because if this game has fireworks, they’re going to be reciprocated.
Manchester United vs Leeds kicks off at 12:30pm on BT Sport.