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Six arrested after fights ahead of Barcelona CL game

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Spanish police say they have made six arrests and attended to five injuries from clashes between fan groups before Barcelona’s Champions League match against Lyon.

[ RECAP: Bayern 1-3 (1-3 agg.) Liverpool ]

Barcelona city police say arrested five men – three Polish nationals supporting Lyon and two Spaniards supporting Barcelona – after a clash near Camp Nou ahead of Wednesday’s game.

They attended to five Lyon fans who had received non-serious injuries.

The regional police for Catalonia also say they arrested one man for hitting an officer.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Grealish reacts to attack by pitch invader, match-winning goal

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Jack Grealish was on Cloud Nine before he was face down in the 18.

The Aston Villa man was handed the captain’s arm band for a Sunday derby at Birmingham City, and incredibly proud of it.

[ MORE: Liverpool-Burnley recap ]

But early in the Second City Derby, a pitch invader attacked Grealish from behind. The punch in the side of the face floored Grealish, and teammates rushed to his aid.

“I was just unaware at the time,” Grealish said. “I was walking into position and I just felt a whack around the side of the face. Obviously there’s rivalry in football but I don’t think there’s any place for that really.”

Grealish would get the last laugh, scoring the lone goal as Villa kept its promotion playoff hopes alive and leapt over Birmingham City on the table.

“I just tried to get on with my job in the end and I think I did. It was unbelievable to get the winner in front of the fans after what happened. … It’s the best day of my life to come here for the first time, captain Aston Villa and score the winner. It’s what dreams are made of, especially being an Aston Villa fan.”

As for the managers, Villa boss Dean Smith ripped the security at St. Andrew’s while Blues manager Garry Monk said that “one idiot does not reflect Birmingham fans and I’m sure they don’t condone it as well.”

Birmingham City apologized to Grealish and Villa, saying the act has “no place in football or society.” The club said in a release that the fan will be banned from St. Andrew’s forever, and that it will back the fullest enforcement of the law.

PSG, Man Utd investigated for fan actions in UEFA Champions League

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More than 800 seats need to be replaced after away supporters did damage at Old Trafford during Paris Saint-Germain’s 2-0 defeat of Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg on Tuesday.

PSG will be investigated by UEFA, and so will United after a bottle was hurled at former winger Angel Di Maria.

[ MORE: Rice chooses England ]

The disciplinary case is set to go before UEFA on Feb. 28, a week before United visits Paris for the second leg on March 6.

According to the Manchester Evening News:

United have been charged with blocked stairways and the throwing of objects while PSG have been charged with the setting off of fireworks, throwing of objects, acts of damage and crowd disturbance.

Inter ‘ultras’ leader arrested for death of fan in clashes

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MILAN (AP) Police have arrested a leader of Inter Milan’s hardcore “ultras” fan group following the death of a supporter during clashes with visiting Napoli fans last week.

The ANSA news agency reports that Marco Piovella, the arrested fan, is being charged with homicide.

[ RECAP: Newcastle 0-2 Man Utd ]

Investigators believe that Daniele Belardinelli, the 35-year-old fan who died, may have been fatally struck by a van or SUV during the clashes outside the San Siro stadium.

Investigators believe that the Inter fans instigated the clashes with a pre-planned assault on a large group of Napoli’s hardcore ultras, who avoided police detection by arriving in mini-vans.

At least four Napoli fans were injured in the clashes – where bars, knives and other weapons were reportedly used – and three Inter supporters were previously arrested.

The Dec. 26 match was also marred by racist chants aimed at Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

Inter has been ordered to play its next two home matches in an empty stadium, plus a third home game with a partial closure of the San Siro.

Inter fans were also barred from traveling to a match at Empoli last Saturday.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

River Plate fans attack Boca Juniors bus, 2nd leg delayed (video)

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A number of Boca Juniors players have been reportedly exposed to tear gas after River Plate fans attacked the team bus as it arrived for the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final between the legendary rivals.

[ MORE: Spurs beat Chelsea ]

The match was scheduled to kickoff at 3 p.m. ET, with Boca and River square at 2 after one leg, but now it has been delayed several hours (though there’s precedence to suggest that River may have to forfeit).

From The Independent:

South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) officials are currently meeting to discuss whether or not the final should go ahead, after reports that a number of Boca players – including Carlos Tevez – were taken unwell in the club’s dressing room following the attack.

CONMEBOL announced the final would be delayed three hours, though some reports say multiple Boca players have been transported to hospital.

If the match is not suspended, it would be stunning, but CONMEBOL is apparently insisting that the match must be staged on Saturday.

Footage before the match showed an adult strapping flares under the shirt of a child.