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Liverpool fans throw smoke bombs as they ignore police advice and gather at Anfield

Liverpool fans hurled smoke bombs this evening outside Anfield as they ignored police advice to stay at home ahead of their side’s Premier League trophy presentation.

The team are playing Chelsea at the moment behind closed doors and will later will be presented with the Premier League trophy after the match. It will be their first title victory in 30 years.

Merseyside Police had asked supporters to stay at home and celebrate because of fears over the coronavirus being spread in the city. But hours before kick-off, hundreds defied police warnings and converged in the streets around Anfield.

They let off red flares, waved flags and blew carbhorns as the Liverpool team arrived on the coach and sang ‘champions, champions’.   

Liverpool legend Sir Kenny Dalglish and current captain Jordan Henderson, who was lifting the Premier League trophy, had urged supporters to stay away.

But their appeals fell on deaf ears as police drafted in more officers to help keep the pavement crowds in check.

One fan John Manners,24, a delivery driver from Walton, said: ‘It’s so difficult for people like me. I’ve waited all these years since I was a kid at school for something like this. And I can’t be there.

‘There’s nothing we can do. But stand here and get close to the ground on the team as possible.

Liverpool supporters outside Anfield stadium in Liverpool despite warnings from authorities to stay away for fears of spreading coronavirus

Hundreds of Liverpool fans have already started congregating outside Anfield and have let of red flares

Hundreds of Liverpool fans have already started congregating outside Anfield and have let of red flares

Liverpool fans wait to greet the Liverpool FC team bus outside Anfield in Liverpool this evening

Liverpool fans wait to greet the Liverpool FC team bus outside Anfield in Liverpool this evening

Fans look on and hold flares as Liverpool players arrive outside the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC this evening

Fans look on and hold flares as Liverpool players arrive outside the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC this evening

Liverpool fans celebrate with red smoke outside a pub near Anfield in Liverpool. The group of men pictured are wearing t-shirts saying 'City couldn't stop us, neither could corona'

Liverpool fans celebrate with red smoke outside a pub near Anfield in Liverpool. The group of men pictured are wearing t-shirts saying ‘City couldn’t stop us, neither could corona’

Liverpool fans with flares celebrate their sides second goal during their match against Chelsea

Liverpool fans with flares celebrate their sides second goal during their match against Chelsea

‘ The police seem to be leaving us alone, which is a good thing. But it’s still our premiership.’

Another fan Lizzie Simkins, 19, from Bootle, said: ‘It’s quite surreal being out here when you know that all we have dreamed of is going on inside there.

‘My dad has followed Liverpool all his life. He has been to European games and been to hundreds of away games.

‘But he had the virus and it knocked him flat out for two months. He’s better now, but he’s still not 100 per cent.

‘My boyfriend and me are here to take loads of videos and pictures to send them to him so he feels some of the joy on these streets.

‘We are here for him as he can’t be here. We will remember tonight for the rest of our lives.’

Rizwan Ali, 29, from Dubai, said: ‘It was impossible for me not to come here. We have to have a party…I have come a long way.’ 

It comes as the ladies behind the men who brought Liverpool its first league title in 30 years were allowed into Anfield after agreeing to wear masks and socially distance.

Liverpool fans set off flares outside Anfield as the Liverpool team bus arrives before their clash with Chelsea

Liverpool fans set off flares outside Anfield as the Liverpool team bus arrives before their clash with Chelsea

A banner being pulled by a plane reading 'Congrats Champions' is flown over the ground during the Premier League match at Anfield

A banner being pulled by a plane reading ‘Congrats Champions’ is flown over the ground during the Premier League match at Anfield

Hundreds of Liverpool fans have gathered outside Anfield this evening to celebrate the club's title win

Hundreds of Liverpool fans have gathered outside Anfield this evening to celebrate the club’s title win

Liverpool fans celebrates their team's first goal as they watch a big screen showing Liverpool's final home English Premier League football match of the season against Chelsea at a pub near Anfield

Liverpool fans celebrates their team’s first goal as they watch a big screen showing Liverpool’s final home English Premier League football match of the season against Chelsea at a pub near Anfield

They were given seats in the ground’s executive boxes after a late decision to allow 300 people into the stadium was made.

The ground’s safety advisers reversed an earlier decision to bar extra guests from seeing Liverpool lift the trophy at the Kop end of the ground after the match with Chelsea.

Assistant Chief Constable Natalie Perischine, from Merseyside Police, said: ‘This is such an important night for all Liverpool fans in the city and worldwide, with the Premier League trophy to be lifted inside the stadium. 

‘The club and TV companies have made careful preparations to ensure that millions of people can enjoy these special moments on screen, in the comfort of their homes.

‘On this occasion, the best seat in the house is in your living room. There is simply no benefit to going to the ground and we as a city cannot afford for people to gather in large numbers.

‘We are all still in unprecedented times due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the last thing anyone wants is a resurgence of cases in Merseyside, with every life lost a tragedy. 

‘The last thing anyone wants is for all Merseyside’s patience and selflessness to unravel and for lockdown measures to be reintroduced, as we have seen in other areas.’  

It comes the Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp urged his squad to savour every moment of the title triumph this evening. 

Jurgen Klopp has urged his squad to savour every moment of a golden period in Liverpool’s history as he prepares to lift the Premier League trophy. 

He said: ‘In the moment, when I spoke about the last 13 or 14 months, it was for sure the most exceptional and successful year of my career.

 ‘Being champion of Europe, England and the world, it doesn’t happen too often.

‘So I think it makes sense that we take a picture with all four trophies because I don’t think there are a lot of pictures in existence where a club has all four of these trophies. We will do that 100 per cent and rightly so.

‘It’s not that I had to say it to them – but I have mentioned it. This is absolutely special. This is the moment, pretty much where you talk about things after a season, but this is the moment that you really have to cherish. You have to appreciate it and reflect, 100 per cent, it has been exceptional.

‘The last 13 or 14 months of this team, it didn’t start then, it started before then but we won all that since then so that makes it really, really special. But all the things in the one-and-a-half to two years before were really exceptional. We just didn’t get the reward.

It goes to show, if you are good and you work hard, which we have obviously done and you put in all you can, there is a chance. It doesn’t mean you can get it as we saw the year before, but there is a chance. We were ready to work for this chance and, in the end, the boys made it happen.’

There will be some symmetry with Liverpool’s last title triumph in 1990 this evening as Jordan Henderson will replicate Alan Hansen in lifting the prize after missing the ceremonial match through injury. 

Liverpool won that fixture against Derby 1-0 and Klopp would settle for the same score.

Klopp was serene when he thinking about the way this collision with Chelsea will go and says there can be no comparison to how he felt before Liverpool faced Tottenham in Madrid last June, needing to win to lift the Champions League.

‘I had some good moments since we won the Premier League, being reflective and happy about how big of a prize it is but the difference could not be bigger,’ said Klopp. ‘Before the Champions League final I had massive pressure that it was really important.

‘I always thought it would be much nicer winning a Premier League early than going into a Champions League where everything goes into an all-or-nothing point. Winning the league seven games before a season ends is incredible

‘It is 100 percent the moment when we get the trophy. That is what it is all about. It is one of the big stories in football history. If someone had a chance to decide to become champion in any country this year, which team would you want to be to have it special, make your choice?

‘The choice would have been Liverpool FC because it was the one everyone wanted to be part of, and we are lucky to be part of it. I appreciate that a lot. It is a really big one. It is not that other championships will ever be forgotten, but this one no-one will forget.’  

Leeds fans crowd outside Elland Road as they celebrate their return to the Premier League

Liverpool fans are not the only ones celebrating a superb title-winning season this evening. Leeds fans are crowded outside Elland Road as they celebrate their return to the Premier League.

The team is currently playing Charlton, but fans will later see their club lift the Championship trophy. Authorities have reminded Leeds fans to celebrate responsibly.

A Leeds City Council spokesperson said: ‘Like all Leeds United fans, we are so proud that the club is back in the Premier League. We know how important it is, not just for fans, but for everyone associated with the city, and it’s understandable fans are very keen to celebrate this wonderful achievement. 

Leeds United fans outside Elland Road celebrate winning the Championship and their promotion to the Premier League

Leeds United fans outside Elland Road celebrate winning the Championship and their promotion to the Premier League

Leeds United fans outside Elland Road celebrate winning the Championship and their promotion to the Premier League this evening

Leeds United fans outside Elland Road celebrate winning the Championship and their promotion to the Premier League this evening

Leeds United fans outside Elland Road celebrate winning the Championship and their promotion to the Premier League

Leeds United fans outside Elland Road celebrate winning the Championship and their promotion to the Premier League

‘Ahead of tonight’s match, we are however asking that people please don’t repeat what we’ve seen in terms of large crowd gatherings at Elland Road and Millennium Square in recent days, or at any other venue in Leeds.

‘This is extremely important as we continue to tackle coronavirus, and take all the steps that are necessary to protect people’s health and wellbeing, and that of others. 

‘This must remain our priority for everyone in the city, and we thank you for your support on this.’ 

Fans have already begun chanting outside the stadium and a number of supporters have lit yellow flares. 

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