Police investigating after Man City condemn attack on Liverpool bus

Liverpool coach
Liverpool coach

Greater Manchester Police are investigating after Manchester City condemned an attack on the Liverpool team bus following Saturday's 4-1 win for Pep Guardiola's side.

A brick cracked a window as the coach made its way out of Manchester, while City also condemned “hateful chanting” towards Liverpool by home fans during the game.

It was City who disclosed the incident, saying in a statement it took place as the Liverpool team coach was going through “a residential area” and that the coach  sustained damage, but nobody on board was injured.

City said: “Incidents of this kind are totally unacceptable, and we strongly condemn the actions of the individuals responsible. We will fully support Greater Manchester Police’s investigation into this incident in any way we can.”

The brick-throwing incident is the latest in a sequence of flashpoints that have previously seen City allege damage to their coach done by Liverpool fans when they have visited Anfield. The City coach was attacked when at Liverpool in 2018 for a Champions League quarter-final. City also claimed their bus was attacked on the way out of Anfield in October last year after the reverse Premier League fixture.

Jurgen Klopp's side endured a nightmare afternoon at the Etihad as City cruised to victory and Guardiola denied he treated Liverpool substitutes with a lack of respect, having celebrated his side’s first goal right in the face of Kostas Tsimikas.

On the touchline after Julian Alvarez levelled the game on 27 minutes, BT Sport cameras caught Guardiola’s unusual celebration, walking backwards as Tsimikas made his way back to the Liverpool benches having been warming up. Guardiola then theatrically shook the hand of the lesser-spotted Liverpool substitute Artur Melo, who responded cheerfully enough.

Asked whether it was an attempt at humour, Guardiola said: “Of course. Come on.” Questioned as to whether it was provocative, he doubled down. “No, come on. I’m so sorry. Speak with Tsimikas, speak with the others. Ask him if I lack respect, I celebrate the goal with my son on that floor [watching in the tier above]. And I said 'The goal was nice, wasn't it?' That's all. I’m so sorry. Do you think it’s a lack of respect? Ah okay, sorry. I’m so sorry.”

In the BT Sport studio, the pundit Rio Ferdinand disagreed. He said: “I don’t know how Tsimikas hasn’t pushed the opposing manager Pep Guardiola out the way.”

Having taken the lead through Mohamed Salah and reached the break at 1-1, Liverpool crumbled in the second half. Kevin De Bruyne gave City the lead 53 seconds after the restart and there were further goals from Ilkay Gundogan and Jack Grealish. Guardiola declared it one of the best performances in his seven years at the club.

For Klopp it was a bad afternoon that followed defeat to Bournemouth before the international break. The Liverpool manager was critical of his players. After the second City goal he said: "You saw what happened after - we were not there any more. Too passive, too deep, too far away from everything." On the possibility of a second yellow card for Rodri in the first half, Klopp said: "I'm not sure we would have won against 10 men."