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Police launch ‘major security operation’ for FA Cup Final between Manchester City and Manchester United amid fears



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Manchester City and Manchester United will be designated specific service stations as part of a series of security measures to be announced by Greater Manchester Police.

The Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday afternoon will be an all-Manchester affair for the second consecutive season, with Manchester City facing local rivals Manchester United in north London for the showpiece clash.

Pep Guardiola’s side, who beat Manchester United 2-1 last season, are bidding to become the first club to win back-to-back Premier League and FA Cup trophies, following last weekend’s record-breaking top-flight triumph.

Manchester City lifted a fourth successive Premier League title last Sunday, as a 3-1 win over West Ham at the Etihad Stadium secured the Blues’ sixth title in seven years, and third trophy of the season.

Guardiola is looking to win a third FA Cup, having overcome United last year and Watford at Wembley Stadium in 2019 to lift the prestigious trophy.

Ilkay Gundogan scored a landmark brace against Erik ten Hag’s side last season, with Manchester City having also won both Premier League meetings between the two teams this season – winning 0-3 at Old Trafford and 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

Greater Manchester Police have launched a ‘major security operation’ ahead of this weekend’s match however, amid fears ‘of violence’ and ‘clashes’ following last year’s game in north London between the two rivals, according to the Daily Mail.

Supporters will be advised to take separate routes and be designated ‘red and blue’ service stations in an attempt to minimise trouble after claims of fighting following last year’s match.

Although only advisory, Police want Manchester City fans to use the M1 and Manchester United supporters to travel down the M6, M42 and M40.

Such measures both last year and this year were announced after the semi-final clash in 2011 was marred by incidents, with 34 arrests as a result of clashes at motorway service stations and at Wembley Stadium.

Saturday’s match will involve a joint-operation with officers from three separate forces, with Wembley officials hoping for minimal disruption ahead of hosting next weekend’s UEFA Champions League Final.