Manchester United fans ‘attacked by black-clad hooligans as bar trashed’ ahead of Europa League Final in Poland (VIDEO)
Three Manchester United supporters have received treatment for minor injuries after they were reportedly attacked by locals outside a bar in Gdansk on the eve of the team's Europa League Final encounter with Villarreal.
Around 2,000 United supporters have made the trek to Poland to support their team's hunt for their first piece of major European silverware since they won the same competition in 2017, when they beat Ajax 2-0 in the final – but the club have confirmed that a handful of their fans were injured after a fracas late on Tuesday.
"Club staff were assisting a number of United fans in Gdansk last night and today after an incident where some of our supporters were attacked outside a bar in the city," the club announced in a statement.
Three @ManUtd fans suffered minor injuries after locals attacked them in a bar last night. Club staff assisting those who had stuff stolen. Not aware of any issue involving Utd/Villarreal fans and general atmosphere good natured.— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) May 26, 2021
According to BBC reporter Simon Stone, sets of fans of both Manchester United and LaLiga side Villarreal have been mingling peacefully, with Stone describing the majority of supporters as "good natured".
However, reports of fights between traveling fans and locals emerged on Tuesday – with one exchange at a local bar in Gdansk said to involve chairs and glass bottles being thrown between Man United fans and Polish locals.
Pewne osoby ze środowiska kibicowskiego (celowo nie użyłem słowa "kibice") Lechii Gdańsk, postanowiły zaatakować restaurację, w której siedzieli kibice Manchesteru United. Brak słów. #UEL #UELfinal pic.twitter.com/pzVvJ4ysDI— Footbreak (@footbreak_yt) May 25, 2021
Footage posted to social media overnight showed several people in dark clothes engaging in an attack of a bar at which United fans were reportedly drinking. The clip also details the damage from the melee, including upturned chairs and broken glass – as well as showing several people who were unwillingly caught up in the chaos.
Mayor of Gdansk Aleksandra Dulkiewicz condemned the attack, tweeting: "Yesterday there was a hooligan attack on the fans of the teams that came to the Europa League final.
"Gdansk is an open city. There is no place for any kind of violence! Dear fans and guests, you are always welcome and we cordially welcome you to our city!"
The game represents Manchester United fans' first away trip since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the club receiving a ticket allocation of 2,000 – though it is likely that more than that number of supporters jetted in from Manchester and elsewhere in the UK.
Among the traveling support is Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney, who is now the boss of Championship outfit Derby County. The club's all-time top goalscorer shared an image of he and his son flying out to Gdansk, along with the caption: "Next stop Poland".
Rooney's presence might well be a good omen for Manchester United, as is final game for the Red Devils came back in their victory against Ajax in the same competition several years ago.
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