By Chris Wright
A week after Jamie Carragher’s rapier challenge gave us all a glimpse of Nani’s inner workings, the acrid rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United boiled over again yesterday, with both clubs’ respective youth strings seeing their FA Cup game at Anfield end amidst controversial scenes.
Two players from each side saw red (United midfielder Paul Pogba picked up a second caution for ‘feinting’ during his run-up to take a penalty), three fans were arrested for drunkenness and a further six supporters were ejected from the stadium for igniting a flare.
United came from two goals behind to eventually win the tie 3-2, thus setting up a semi-final clash with Chelsea – though groups of their supporters did little to cover themselves in glory, periodically chanting about the Hillsbrough and Heysel disasters throughout the game.
Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge was in attendance, and branded the conduct of the United fans as ‘disgusting and sickening’:
“I have never seen anything like that before at a youth game and I never want to see anything like it again. It was disgusting.
“You get used to banter from United fans when they come to Anfield but to hear those songs about Heysel and Hillsborough was just horrible.
“The level of abuse was absolutely sickening, there was evidently a group who had just come to cause problems and I felt sorry for the families in the Manchester United end who just wanted to watch a game of football.”