CROWDS swarmed Manchester city centre as dozens of police officers, mounted police and riot vans attempted to keep Celtic fans under control last night.
Around a total of 4,000 fans visited the city last night for the Celtic Champions League match away to Manchester City at the Etihad stadium.
Their cheers got out of control when fireworks were set off inside a tram, a burger was thrown at a police horse and pro – IRA chanting could be heard.
Tram passengers were left terrified as Celtic fans left a tram carriage full of smoke after setting off fireworks inside, as they got off at the Etihad.
Unable to get past the hundreds of fans, other passengers, including people with children, were reportedly forced to stay on board the tram until it reached Etihad. Metrolink are currently investigating the incident.
One passenger travelling on the Bury line to Market Street said: “People were banging on the roof, chanting and stomping.
“The fans weren’t letting anyone off or anyone on.
“There were people there with kids who looked really scared.”
In a statement following the 1 – 1 draw match, Greater Manchester Police said 14 people had been detained by officers for public order and drinking related offences, and one case of drug possession.
Superintendent Craig Thompson of Greater Manchester Police Specialist Operations Branch said: “We have significant experience in policing occasions like this and sadly, as is often the case, we did experience a small number of incidents which were dealt with swiftly and resulted in a number of arrests.”
In a more bizarre incident, one fan was arrested and ‘started kicking about in the van’ after throwing a burger at a police horse in Picadilly Gardens before the match. GMP City Centre tweeted:
Police horse 'Lancaster' is in a stable position after burger thrown at it by Celtic fan!
— GMP City Centre (@GMPCityCentre) December 6, 2016
There were also several reports of the fans chanting with relevance to pro – IRA and causing trouble within the stadium following unverified footage of a man being punched in the face as stewards escort a group up the stairs in one of the stands away from the pitch.
There have been other unconfirmed reports of violence and the clubs stewarding provisions have been called in to question.
Following the anti-social behaviour, dozens of Mancunians took to social media to Tweet about the raucous fans:
@ManCity How did you allow Celtic supporters all over the ground ? One steward trying to stop mass fights ? Celtic fans bringing flares in ?
— Invisibleman ? ?? (@arbmcfcpab) December 6, 2016
Celtic fans make me ill. Get me out of Manchester immediately.
— David ?? (@SpeccyDave) December 6, 2016