Liverpool's Team Bus Blocked by Cars, Tires Slashed Ahead of Manchester United Match

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVMay 13, 2021

Police vans arrive ahead of any possible Manchester United fan protests against the Glazer family, the American owners of Manchester United, before their English Premier League soccer match against Liverpool at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson)
AP Photo/Dave Thompson

The Liverpool team bus has been blocked on the road ahead of the club’s scheduled match against Manchester United at Old Trafford Thursday.

utdreport @utdreport

Cars have blocked Liverpool's coach from arriving at Old Trafford #mulive [@RedIssue, @DTathletic] pic.twitter.com/igNhOwy3aj

Daniel Taylor @DTathletic

There is another bus at team hotel but this is official one (and the tyres have just been let down) pic.twitter.com/w7CeeEXV06

The match had already been rescheduled from its original May 2 date when Manchester United supporters held a protest against the club's ownership, with some fans breaking into Old Trafford stadium.

There was a heavy security presence outside the ground Thursday in preparation for more protests:

Football Daily @footballdaily

Scenes are pretty calm outside Old Trafford at the moment ahead of Manchester United V Liverpool #MUNLIV pic.twitter.com/4USNAaZAn2

AP Sports @AP_Sports

Manchester United fans protesting against the club’s ownership outside Old Trafford ahead of the Premier League game against Liverpool https://t.co/fpQvvHL837 pic.twitter.com/6XRtbYliWf

Daniel Taylor of The Athletic reported police have begun clearing the road where an estimated 50 fans had gathered.

The protests are directed towards the Glazer family, which have owned the Premier League club since 2005.

B/R Football @brfootball

Manchester United fans storm Old Trafford ahead of the match against Liverpool in protest of the club’s ownership 📸 pic.twitter.com/kfTJJ3MgD6

While the fanbase has long been frustrated with the club's ownership, United's brief inclusion in the European Super League—which was heavily criticized before the team withdrew from the league two days after the initial launch—was one of the factors behind the May 2 protest.

It saw the match against Liverpool postponed, creating a tight schedule for both clubs to complete before the end of the Premier League season on May 23.

This will be the third match in five days for Manchester United, which defeated Aston Villa Sunday before losing to Leicester City Tuesday with a lineup filled with mostly reserves. 

"To play Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday is a crime," Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said of the fixtures, per BBC Sport.

Liverpool at least has an extra day of rest before facing West Bromwich Albion in its next match Sunday.

Of course, if the game is postponed again on Thursday, there will be few opportunities to rearrange it.

The matchup is an important one in the race to qualify for next season's Champions League, with Liverpool seven points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with two games in hand.