Hundreds of Liverpool fans descend on Anfield despite warnings to stay away
22 July 2020, 23:09 | Updated: 23 July 2020, 01:51
Hundreds of Liverpool fans have gathered outside Anfield to celebrate the club's Premier League win despite warnings to stay at home.
A heavy police presence was in force outside the stadium as the club played Chelsea on Wednesday night in their final home game of the season.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp urged loyal fans to remain at home for celebrations, due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
He said: "We should all celebrate at home, drink what you want, prepare for a party when this bullsh** virus is over."
Police introduced a 48-hour dispersal zone around the ground in anticipation of crowds gathering as the trophy was lifted in the empty stadium.
Much of the stadium was fenced off but by 9.45pm a large group had gathered in the road outside the Kop end with flags and flares.
Police vans lined the road and officers stood in cordons.
Fireworks were set off in the street and fans stood on hoardings.
Officers took flares off some fans but did not stop them joining the crowd on Walton Breck Road, where many more began to gather after 10pm.
Supporters waved flags from the gates outside the Kop after climbing up and fireworks were set off from areas around the ground.
Some members of the crowd wore face masks and some had brought children to enjoy the celebrations, while others carried cans of beer.
Thousands of supporters celebrated outside Anfield last month when the team's first top-flight title in 30 years was confirmed and huge numbers gathered at the city's Pier Head the following night, where police reported violent confrontations.
Superintendent Dave Charnock said: "We're aware of the significant impact that anti-social behaviour can have on individuals and communities, and we will be targeting people we suspect of being involved in this type of behaviour in the area.
"To the vast majority of law-abiding members of the community and Liverpool fans, I just want to remind them that this order is not about bothering people going about their legitimate daily business.
"We would like to thank the vast majority of you who are adhering to the restrictions currently in place to protect the wider community as well as those who are continuing to keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour and reporting it to us.
"It has never been more important than now to ensure that we all follow Government advice to ensure the safety of those living in Merseyside."
Ahead of the match, police had joined with the club, council and supporters' group Spirit of Shankly to ask people to celebrate at home.