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Liverpool fans greeted by 'Hillsborough murderers' banner on outskirts of Manchester

Published 17/03/2016

Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho (R) celebrates after scoring their first goal during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho (R) celebrates after scoring their first goal during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini (3rd L) reacts to a missed chance during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on March 17, 2016. The game ended 1-1, Liverpool going through 3-1 on aggregate. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal applauds the fans as he walks down the touchline after the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool celebrates a 3-1 aggregate victory after the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Manchester United's English defender Chris Smalling (R) vies with Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal sits on the bench with assistant Ryan Giggs during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool celebrates a 3-1 aggregate victory after the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho (R) celebrates with Liverpool's French defender Mamadou Sakho after scoring their first goal during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho scores his side's first goal of the game during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Flares are lit by the Liverpool supporters during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge (left) is substituted for teammate Divock Origi (right) during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Serbian referee Milorad Mazic (R) speaks to Manchester United's Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini gestures after a clash with Liverpool's Croatian defender Dejan Lovren during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool fans let off a red flare in the stands during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool reacts during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Jesse Lingard of Manchester United grabs the ball as he is fouled during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge has a shot on goal during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PA
Manchester United's Welsh assistant manager Ryan Giggs (R) gestures as Liverpool's English midfielder James Milner prepares to take a throw-in during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's Anthony Martial (second right) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game from the penalty spot during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool reacts as Ryan Giggs Assistant Manager of Manchester United looks on during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Goalkeeper David De Gea of Manchester United stretches to make a save during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet saves a header by Manchester United's Jesse Lingard during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Sir Alex Ferguson in the stands during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal (left) walk down the touchline before the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Anthony Martial of Manchester United scores their first goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool looks on as Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool stretches prior to the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: A supporter arrives at the ground prior to the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Liverpool's French defender Mamadou Sakho warms up ahead of the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's Michael Carrick (left) leads his side out for the warm up before the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Manchester United's Michael Carrick leads his side out for the warm up before the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool looks on prior to the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Match day scarves are sold outside the stadium prior to the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Match day scarves are displayed outside the stadium prior to the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Match day scarves are displayed outside the stadium prior to the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: A general view outside the stadium prior to the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
File photo dated 16-03-2016 of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday March 17, 2016. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes he has the game plan to counter Manchester United at Old Trafford. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read Peter Byrne/PA Wire
File photo dated 16-03-2016 of Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday March 17, 2016. Manchester United are facing an uphill battle, but Louis van Gaal is only contemplating victory and Europa League progress against Liverpool. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
Manchester United to face Liverpool in the 2nd leg of their Europa League tie at Old Trafford, Manchester, England (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes his side can progress past Liverpool
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is a man with a plan to face Manchester United.

Liverpool fans arriving for their side's Europa League last-16 second leg against arch-rivals Manchester United were greeted with a 'Murderers' banner on the outskirts of the city.

The slur was tied to a sheet on a bridge over the M602 in Salford, just a couple of miles from Old Trafford and a route used by many Merseyside-based supporters heading to the game.

It also contained the date of the Hillsborough disaster, in which 96 Liverpool fans died at the FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest. During last week's first leg at Anfield, won 2-0 by the hosts, a number of offensive chants in reference to the tragedy were sung by a large section of the away end.

Manchester United condemned the chants but UEFA took no disciplinary action as no reference to the chants were made in the Spanish match officials' reports.

"It has always been the position of Manchester United that chants of this nature, which refer to historical tragedies, have no place in the game and do not reflect the values the club holds," said United's statement on Friday.

"We are in discussion with our fans' groups to seek their support in preventing this type of behaviour in the future."

Read more

Man United 1-1 Liverpool (Agg: 1-3): Philippe Coutinho goal seals United's fate

Greater Manchester Police were alerted to the motorway banner and swiftly took it down.

"Police made aware of offensive banner that was hanging over the M602," GMP said on their Twitter account. "Officers immediately dispatched and banner now taken down."

Inside the stadium one banner in the away end bearing the words 'Hang the Roma 4' - in reference to United supporters convicted in 2007 of fighting with police in the Italian capital who subsequently had their jail sentences cut on appeal - was also quickly removed.

Midway through the second half there were two very faint separate 'murderers' chant from the Stretford End but both died out almost before they had got started.

In the closing minutes of the game a minor scuffle broke out in the top tier of the East Stand when a handful of Liverpool fans, sat among home supporters, unfurled a flag in club colours - much to the delight of the visiting supporters below them - but stewards moved in swiftly to isolate the group and prevent a further escalation.

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