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Lyon v Besiktas: Kick-off delayed by crowd trouble at Europa League match

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Clashes in the stands that forced some supporters on to the pitch delayed Lyon’s Europa League quarter-final first-leg win over Besiktas.

Trouble prompted police involvement outside the ground before violence behind one goal as players warmed up.

“Projectiles and fireworks launched from the stands require fans to take refuge on the pitch,” Lyon tweeted.

The game kicked off 45 minutes late with Lyon scoring twice in the closing 10 minutes to win 2-1.

Authorities had categorised the fixture ‘high risk’, with about 500 police reportedly stationed at Parc Olympique Lyonnais – more than double the usual amount.

Both teams left the field as fans spilled on to the playing surface before kick-off, with Lyon president Jean Michel Aulas going into the crowd in an effort to calm supporters.

Police tried to control matters on the pitch as fans left the stands
Police tried to control matters on the pitch as fans left the stands

When the French and Turkish sides eventually emerged, both sets of players clapped supporters all round the stadium, before going through brief warm-up drills ahead of a 20:50 BST kick-off.

Before Beskitas’ fixture against Greek side Olympiakos in the previous round, both clubs worked with Uefa and took the decision to ban away fans in a bid to avoid crowd trouble.

It is the third incident at a Uefa competition this week, following Tuesday’s bomb attack on Borussia Dortmund’s team bus and Wednesday’s clashes between Leicester City supporters and police in Madrid.

When the match got under way, former Liverpool striker Ryan Babel put Besiktas ahead but moments after Corentin Tolisso’s equaliser on 83 minutes, Jeremy Morel robbed Spanish goalkeeper Fabri in the area to tap into an empty net.

Lyon President Jean Michel Aulas spoke with supporters to calm matters
Lyon President Jean Michel Aulas spoke with supporters to calm matters
The 20:05 BST kick-off was delayed as a result of the crowd disturbances
The 20:05 BST kick-off was delayed as a result of the crowd disturbances
Fans outside the stadium in Lyon
Fans outside the stadium in Lyon – French police attended the fixture in double their usual numbers
bbc.com
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