Greater Manchester Police to 'clamp down hard' on troublemakers at Manchester derby

An alcohol exclusion zone between the city centre and the Etihad Stadium will be introduced for the fixture, with supporters under the influence not allowed into the ground
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have announced their plans for the upcoming derby between Manchester City and Manchester United on Monday evening.

The fixture at the Etihad Stadium could play a huge part in deciding the destination of this year's Premier League title and as such tensions are expected to be high between the two rivals ahead of kick-off.

GMP have insisted that they recognise the excitement the rivalry brings to the fixture and to the league but have urged supporters to help maintain a "safe and enjoyable" atmosphere around the stadium.

The FA Cup third round tie between the two clubs in January passed without major incident, with the police praising supporters' behaviour, but there have been disturbances and arrests made in previous years.

"As so much rests on this game, emotions will be running high and our main aim is to ensure the game is a safe and enjoyable experience for all fans," chief superintendent John O'Hare said in a statement.

"Greater Manchester Police will have the appropriate number of officers and resources within the ground and the surrounding areas to both deal with any incidents and offer reassurance to the public.

"The rivalry between the clubs really adds something extra to this fixture and should be embraced, but we must also ensure that this is not used as an excuse by some individuals to become involved in disorder."

O'Hare promised that GMP would "clamp down hard" on any supporters looking to cause trouble and urged fans to drink responsibly.

An alcohol exclusion zone, where alcohol will not be permitted, will be set up between the city centre and the Etihad Stadium, while supporters under the influence will not be allowed to enter the ground.

"We want to make it clear to the minority who may be thinking of causing any trouble that we will clamp down hard on them," O'Hare continued. "We want people to take responsibility for themselves and drink responsibly.

"We want to ensure that the city of Manchester, both of its clubs and its fans are remembered for the right reasons. We should celebrate the fact that the Premier League is coming to Manchester."