Police have urged both Manchester United and Liverpool fans to act responsible ahead of their crucial Europe League match at Old Trafford on Thursday 17 March. Officers have consulted with fans via the supporter's associations ahead of the last-16 second-leg tie to let them know how they plan to police the match.

A drinking ban has been imposed on the streets of central Manchester and Trafford prior to kick-off as police hope there will be no major incidents during match taking place on St Patrick's Day night. Thousands of Liverpool fans are expected to travel to Manchester for the match, with Jurgen Klopp's team currently 2-0 ahead following last week's first leg tie at Anfield.

Ahead of the crunch game between the fierce rivals, Greater Manchester Police superintendent Jim Liggett said: "As match commander for the forthcoming Manchester United v Liverpool fixture this Thursday, I would like to welcome both sets of fans attending the game.

"The aim of the police is to ensure that everybody enjoys the match and the day passes off safely with recent fixtures at Old Trafford between the two sides passing without incident which we hope will continue on Thursday. Many issues experienced by fans can be overcome by effective communication and in order to build upon good relations from previous seasons, we have already spoken with supporters associations and stadium safety officers from both clubs to talk through some aspects of the policing operation.

"As always, the TV cameras and media will be focused on one of the biggest club fixtures in the world and I hope that supporters from both sides act in a responsible manner and enjoy the game, no matter what the result."

Manchester United fans were condemned by their own club in the wake of the first leg following reports of "sickening" Hillsborough chants aimed at Liverpool supports during the game. The club said in a statement: "It has always been the position of Manchester United that chants of this nature, which refer to historical tragedies, have no place in the game and do not reflect the club's values. We are discussing with fans to seek support in preventing this behaviour in the future."