Man United 2-0 Arsenal: Fans throw punches during preseason friendly at MetLife Stadium
The rivalry between Manchester United and Arsenal is renowned for being fierce but it appeared the tension spilled from the pitch to the stands during their pre-season friendly on Saturday night.
The Gunners suffered a 2-0 defeat to the Red Devils at MetLife Stadium as they continued their pre-season tour Stateside after thrashing the MLS All-Stars 5-0 earlier in the week.
It was a physical encounter, characteristic of the intense rivalry that exists between the two sides, but also saw excitement bubbling through the crowd.
In video captured by Mail Sport’s Chris Wheeler, fans can be seen brawling in the stands at New Jersey Stadium during the matchup.
While it’s unclear what sparked the fight, a group of fans on the stairs separated by a row of stairs were seen shoving each other before things escalated with one man throwing punches.
Arsenal were beaten 2-0 by Manchester United in their pre-season friendly.
Tension was also high in the stands as a group of supporters appeared to throw punches
Two members of the security staff climbed over the pitchside railing separating the stands from the action on the field and began to move towards the brawling fans.
Before they got there, however, a few other fans were able to intervene and calm the situation.
The supporter in a blue jersey who threw the first punch, backed away and calmly returned to his seat in the row. No more trouble seemed.
The excitement on the field was just as high. A late challenge from Lisandro Martinez at Bucayo Saka sparked tempers in the state, leading to a small brawl until the Argentina star was separated from Gunners captain Martin Odegaard.
Footage shows Martinez lunging at Saka in the United half as the game approaches the halfway mark.
United were already 2-0 up but the centre-back, known for his attacking nature, was taking no prisoners and towered over the England forward.
When he also almost took out teammate Kobi Mainu, the referee blew for a free-kick, booking Martinez for the challenge, although the 25-year-old was unfazed.
There were no further problems among the 82,262 fans in attendance
Lisandro Martinez ignites the mood during Manchester United’s game against Arsenal
Defender Bukayo lunged at Saka, causing the other players to clash
Odegaard was on the spot to tackle his opponent, before several other players rushed to get involved.
The likes of Mason Mount, William Saliba and Luke Shaw all came to the scene, but things eventually went quiet.
The game saw three yellow cards overall, Harry Maguire was booked for Manchester United and Gabriel Jesus also picked up a yellow in the game.
United will also play Wrexham, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund while in the US, with the Gunners facing Barcelona on Thursday morning after already beating an MLS All-Star team.
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