Police to 'maximise safety' at Manchester derby

David Moyes and Manuel Pellegrini
Image caption The game will be the first derby for both United's David Moyes and City's Manuel Pellegrini

Manchester City and Manchester United's derby match will be subject to a "significant operation to maximise safety", police have said.

The football match, which sees the sides meet for the first time this season, takes place at City's Etihad Stadium at 16:00 BST.

Extra officers will be on patrol at the ground and an alcohol exclusion zone will be in place across the city.

Ch Supt Stuart Ellison said it would "ensure a fantastic family atmosphere".

The game will be the first derby match in 27 years not to feature the former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

'Safe and enjoyable'

His replacement, David Moyes, will be in charge of his first derby, as will Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini, who replaced Roberto Mancini after he was dismissed by the club in May.

Last season's game at City's stadium in January was marked by an incident which saw United defender Rio Ferdinand hit by a coin thrown from the crowd before being confronted by a City supporter on the pitch.

The fan was later banned from football matches for three years, while Ferdinand decided not to pursue a conviction over the coin-throwing.

Image caption The defender was left with blood running down his face after the incident in January

Mr Ellison said police were "keen" to make sure the upcoming game was "a safe and enjoyable occasion for both sets of supporters".

"We have been working closely with both clubs for several weeks to maximise safety and ensure there is a fantastic family atmosphere for everyone to enjoy.

"The majority of fans in recent derby matches have behaved impeccably. We are never complacent however and we are prepared for any challenges that may arise."

A police spokesman added that anyone caught with alcohol in the exclusion zone would have it confiscated and anyone "arriving at the stadium under the influence of excess alcohol will be refused entry".

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites