- City reduce Liverpool away following
- Decision follows increased tension between supporters
- Liverpool and fan group call for move to be reversed
WHAT HAPPENED? Liverpool have been told that Manchester City and Greater Manchester Police have agreed to cut the number of away fans allowed for their visit to the Etihad Stadium on April 1 by 20%, from 3,000 to 2,400. The move comes after an escalation of tensions between both clubs in the last few years amid a growing on-pitch rivalry.
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WHAT THEY SAID: "LFC has been in contact with the Premier League and Manchester City to challenge this decision. The club is committed to having as many supporters as possible in stadiums for Premier League away fixtures," said a statement from Liverpool.
Supporters group Spirit of Shankly called the move "counter productive" and said last season Liverpool fans experienced "overzealous stewarding and policing" and accused City of "poor crowd management". It also called upon City and relevant authorities to reverse the decision.
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THE BIGGER PICTURE: The move comes after an escalation of tensions between both clubs in the last few years amid a growing on-pitch rivalry. Liverpool complained of "vile" chants and graffiti by City fans during the fixture at Anfield last October. And during the Carabao Cup match in December, a 15-year-old female City supporter suffered head injuries after a plastic cup filled with coins was allegedly thrown by visiting fans.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR MANCHESTER CITY: Pep Guardiola's side are set for a crucial month when they return from the international break, facing Liverpool and title rivals Arsenal in the Premier League as well as a Champions League quarter-final tie against Bayern Munich and an FA Cup semi-final with Sheffield United.