- Man City’s team bus was attacked at Anfield last year before a European game
- But the club fears a repeat after posters encouraged a hostile greeting for City
- Liverpool apologised for the 2018 incident but City are now seeking assurances
- The flyer urges fans to bring ‘pyro, pints, flags and banners’ to the crucial clash
Manchester City’s team bus is pelted with objects as the team arrive for the game in 2018
A close-up of the bus, which had to be written off, shows bottles and cans being launched
Liverpool went on to beat City across both legs of the tie but lost to Real Madrid in the final
Manchester City have sought security assurances from Liverpool over posters advertising a hostile greeting for Sunday’s game.
Liverpool apologised unreservedly after City’s bus was attacked while snaking its way towards Anfield for a Champions League knockout tie in 2018.
Last season’s Premier League game went off without a hitch but a flyer urging home supporters to ‘bring pyro, pints, flags and banners’ as City arrive on Merseyside has prompted apprehension.
Merseyside Police were criticised when City’s coach was attacked after they published the route beforehand, and this time details will be kept secret.
Missiles were thrown at the vehicle with such force that it had to be written off.
Superintendent Paul White said: ‘As with any match, a comprehensive and appropriate policing operation has been put in place ahead of Sunday’s game and we have liaised with both clubs and their supporter groups.
‘We are aware of one poster on social media regarding a bus welcome. The corresponding last fixture ran smoothly and we are working to ensure this game can be enjoyed safely by all as well as minimising any disruption to local residents and roads. ‘As with all Premier League fixtures at Anfield, we will have officers on duty at the ground, both uniformed and plain clothed, supported by mobile CCTV, provided by Liverpool City Council, and specialist resources including the Dog Section, mounted police and the National Police Air Service. We will also have a city centre policing plan in place throughout the day. This is standard procedure.
‘We know that this will be a busy operation and we hope that fans attending the match will act as ambassadors for their clubs.
‘As usual we would ask fans with tickets to arrive at the ground as early as possible. Fans without tickets should not attend at all; they will not be allowed entry into the stadium.’
Pep Guardiola already has enough to worry about with injuries, not least to goalkeeper Ederson, who was forced off with a thigh problem at half-time of Wednesday’s 1-1 Champions League draw at Atalanta.
Ederson will have more tests on Friday but City fear he will not recover in time. Claudio Bravo, who was sent off while deputising against Atalanta, is ready to stand in for the Brazilian. The champions head to Anfield hoping to close a six-point gap in what is likely to be another nail-biting title race.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have escaped punishment for an offensive banner that was unfurled at a Champions League game in Genk. An image of a naked black man with Divock Origi’s head superimposed was on display in the away end.
But no reference was made to the banner in the official reports that were submitted to UEFA and that meant they were unable to open a case.