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Manchester United–Liverpool Match Postponed as Protesters Breach Old Trafford

Manchester United's match against Liverpool was postponed after fans broke into Old Trafford and rushed the field in a protest against the club's owners. 

"Following discussion between the Police, The Premier League, Trafford Council and the clubs, our match against Liverpool has been postponed due to safety and security considerations around the protest today," the club released in a statement. "Discussions will now take place with the Premier League on a revised date for the fixture.

"Our fans are passionate about Manchester United, and we completely acknowledge the right to free expression and peaceful protest. However, we regret the disruption to the team and actions which put other fans, staff, and the police in danger."

Thousands of protesters descended upon Old Trafford just two hours before Manchester United was set to host historic rival Liverpool. Fans hoisted signs admonishing the club's involvement in the proposed Super League and wore green-and-yellow scarves that represent the movement against the the Glazer family, the club owners who also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  

The protests originated outside of the Lowry Hotel in Manchester, where the team stays before its home games, before moving to Old Trafford. At the stadium, a score of fans took the field while setting off flares and smoke bombs. 

Protesters stayed on the field for roughly 10 minutes as a select group played soccer, threw camera tripods and ran off with mementos that included the corner flags.

Less than 90 minutes before the start of the game, another group of fans ran onto the pitch where a heavier security presence managed the breach. A Sky Sports broadcast reported that the match referees had been turned away from the stadium entrance by protesters and that one fan had entered the team dressing room, which represented a potential COVID-19-protocol breach.

Although starting lineups were released, the team buses still remained at the hotels at the originally planned kickoff time as the club initially announced that the game would be delayed indefinitely. By 5:40 p.m. local time, one hour after the scheduled kickoff, the team announced it would postpone the match until a further date.

Manchester United currently sits in second place in the Premier League and is expected to reach the Europa League final after defeating AS Roma 6–2 in the semifinal first leg last week. A loss on Sunday to Liverpool would have clinched the Premier League title for crosstown rival Manchester City