Pep Guardiola has spoken of his pride after Manchester City medical staff stopped to treat a road accident victim outside Anfield on Wednesday.
The incident occurred as City left the stadium following their Champions League loss to Liverpool and close to where they had been targeted by home supporters on their journey to the ground hours earlier.
City’s coach was pelted with missiles – including bottles, cans and fireworks – as it turned onto Anfield Road from Arkles Lane near the stadium prior to the game. Significant damage was caused, notably smashed front windows, and City needed a replacement bus for their journey home.
They had only just left the stadium when they passed by a road traffic accident near the Arkles pub. They were parked for around 25 minutes, with manager Guardiola, coaching staff and players on board, as club medics tended to an injured woman until an ambulance arrived.
Guardiola said: “We went out from the stadium and the police were there. Something had happened to a woman.
“Of course I think all doctors and physios in the world want to help when something happens. I’m so proud of Manchester City people for what they’ve done.
“They are human beings and when something happens in the streets it’s normal for doctors or physios to help them.”
European governing body UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Liverpool over the incidents prior to the game.
Thousands of fans had lined the streets to greet the teams arriving. The attack began as City slowed near the pub, where visibility was also poor due to red smoke from flares.
City subsequently lost the game, a quarter-final first leg, 3-0.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has admitted the affair tarnished his side’s preparations. The arrival is normally an exciting time for the home side.
“It is so strange because you go with your own bus through the crowd and it feels fantastic, it is passion,” the German said.
“Then you come into the stadium and the first thing I heard is they smashed the bus of Man City and it kills everything in that moment for us.
“Because of a few idiots it will maybe never happen again. It changed everything.”
Klopp added that stopping to treat the injured woman was “an outstanding thing to do”.
The Man City bus was damaged arriving at Anfield as it was pelted with missiles and is now out of action. Liverpool have condemned the action of the perpetrators in the "strongest possible terms" and apologised to City #LIVMCI pic.twitter.com/hLPaxKL8LL— Andy Hampson (@andyhampson) April 4, 2018
The bus attack should have led to the game being suspended, according to a psychologist specialising in workplace stress.
Professor Cary Cooper of the Manchester Business School told Press Association Sport: “They should have suspended the game, they should never have had the game go ahead.
“Not with players on the bus being intimidated like that. Number one, (suspending the game) is a way of punishing Liverpool and number two it’s a way of sending a message that this shouldn’t happen, but there’s no way (the Manchester City players) couldn’t have been affected by that.
“The performance was totally uncharacteristic. They must have been unsettled and it must have had a psychological impact on them.
“People think footballers are resilient but they are normally cosseted, away from the public, they’re really well protected – and they’re young.
“The majority of them are in their 20s, they’re not necessarily life-mature and have been cosseted since the age of 16-17. Then they go to work on a bus and the bus gets attacked before a big event.”