Football: Police arrest nine after 'missile' hits player during Man United-Leeds clash

Manchester United's Anthony Elanga appeared to have been hit by something while celebrating Fred's goal. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

(REUTERS) - Police said on Monday (Feb 21) they made nine arrests following Manchester United's intense 4-2 English Premier League win over Leeds United during which a Manchester player appeared to have been hit by something thrown from the crowd at Elland Road.

Second-half goals from substitutes Fred and Anthony Elanga earned the Red Devils victory on Sunday in the red-hot atmosphere, and academy graduate Elanga appeared to have been hit by something while celebrating Fred's goal.

United and Leeds have had a fierce rivalry over the years, with the fixture dubbed as the Pennines Derby.

The giants from Manchester took a half-time lead after goals from captain Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes, but the roof came off at Elland Road after Rodrigo and substitute Raphinha scored in less than a minute early in the second half.

However, the visitors were the ones to get over the line as Fred put his side in front 20 minutes from time before Elanga settled the contest late in the game.

"There was no significant disorder, but there were a few incidents in Leeds City Centre ahead of the game and some minor incidents throughout the game," West Yorkshire Police said in a statement.

"Officers were deployed in sufficient numbers to rapidly intervene to identify and arrest the people responsible and prevent any escalation in disorder."

"The majority of fans on both sides behaved appropriately throughout the match and there was no significant disorder, but we hope the early intervention and positive action... will help send a very clear message," deputy chief constable Russ Foster added.

According to media reports, the Football Association is aware of the incident involving Elanga and is looking into it, with United manager Ralf Rangnick and Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa condemning the action of supporters involved.

"Obviously things like that should not happen and I think ever more so in this game, the atmosphere was great at times we had to cool down," Rangnick said.

Bielsa said that he had not seen the incident but added that violence in football "should not be approved".

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