MANCHESTER UNITED’S players and staff required a police escort as they were finally left the team hotel after an afternoon of unprecedented fan protests.
Their Premier League clash against arch-rivals Liverpool was POSTPONED with police and both clubs having security concerns.
Neither set of players reached the stadium with demonstrations starting at 1pm, three-and-a-half hours before kick-off.
A number of supporters also turned up at the luxurious Lowry Hotel , where Manchester United stars stay before big games.
Fans chanted and lit flares next to the team bus as it waited for the squad.
Players were seen peering from the windows as the game was at first delayed, and then called off.
And boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his stars finally left and boarded their team coaches at around 7.15pm.
Solskjaer, assistant Michael Carrick, club captain Harry Maguire and the rest of the squad were ushered from the hotel to their transport, which was then given a police escort out of the hotel.
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It came after hundreds of United fans broke into Old Trafford and stormed the pitch to protest against the club’s owners, the Glazer family.
Thousands also gathered outside the famous old stadium, with flares and bottles thrown during the protest.
And one police officer was hospitalised after “being attacked with a bottle and sustaining a significant slash wound to his face”.
Protestors also got into the tunnel and dressing rooms as police and stewards struggled to regain control.
A United statement read: “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.
“Discussions will now take place with the Premier League on a revised date for the fixture.
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“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.
“We thank the police for their support and will assist them in any subsequent investigations.”
Greater Manchester Police condemned the violence as they confirmed injuries to officers.
A police statement read: “Flares were let off and bottles thrown at officers.
“Protestors outside Old Trafford became especially aggressive and antagonistic towards police before a group of about 100 forced entry to the ground with some United staff having to lock themselves in rooms.
“Those in the stadium were evicted by officers but outside on the forecourt hostility grew with bottles and barriers being thrown at officers and horses.
“Two officers have been injured with one officer being attacked with a bottle and sustaining a significant slash wound to his face, requiring emergency hospital treatment.
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“With the situation increasing in hostility, additional officers had to be deployed and officers had to be drawn in from neighbouring forces to assist Greater Manchester officers.
“Following discussion with The Premier League, Trafford Council and the clubs, a joint decision was made to postpone the match for safety reasons.”
An estimated 10,000 fans gathered en masse outside the Theatre of Dreams in a protest against the club’s American owners, with frustrations coming to a head after their failed plot to join the European Super League .
The demonstration had been planned days in advance, with boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pleading for it to be peaceful .
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