Local hooligans in Odessa targeted fans of Manchester United on Thursday night, hurling bricks and bottles at them prior to United’s Europa League match in the Ukrainian city.
A thousand United supporters made the trip to the Chornomorets Stadium as United successfully negotiated their passage through to the knockout stages of the competition with a 2-0 win.
The match was played in Odessa, 400 miles from Zorya’s home city of Luhansk, as Luhansk has been inhabited by Russian separatists for the past two years.
But trouble still flared before the game as local hooligans fought running street battles with police, the Manchester Evening News report.
United had laid on shuttle buses to take fans from Cathedral Square in Odessa city centre to the stadium.
However, around 100 Red Devils supporters who had been drinking in an Irish bar were unable to get on board due to a number of troublemakers gathering outside the pub threatening them.
Police eventually arrived and formed a ring of steel around them and escorted them to the ground.
However, they were pursued by gangs who threw bricks, bottles, fireworks, street furniture and other missiles at them.
The Chornomorets Stadium, where the match was being played, sits inside a park and eyewitnesses reported small groups lining the route and attempting to ambush United fans as police charged at them in a bid to make them disperse.
A total of three fans were injured in the disturbances, all a result of being hit by missiles.
They were treated by paramedics at the scene but were not taken to hospital, a United source said.
Four Ukrainian fans were arrested.
In another incident reported to the M.E.N, the night before the game a group of fans were handed a handwritten note asking if they wanted a ‘clean fight’ just with fists with a group of Ukrainian ultras.