Thousands of Manchester City and Chelsea fans have clashed with police in riot gear as crowds of supporters descended on Portugal ahead of the teams’ Champions League final clash tonight.
Boozy Britons took over pubs and bars in sunny Porto as they geared up for all-English fixture – the pinnacle in the European football calendar.
But the festivities quickly got out of hand as large crowds supporters were seen clashing with police officers, who were dressed in riot gear, later in the afternoon.
Today’s tensions come after the streets descended into chaos last night when Britons battled each other and police with tensions flaring.
Earlier that day, supporters had flocked around the river Douro in the city as they chanted, erected flags and toasted to their club’s success in a few hours.
They arrived having been forced to fork out excessive prices for flights and hotels as well as the chaos of a Covid testing system which left some fearing they would miss the match.
Last night, rival gangs flouted social distancing rules as they flung bar stools at each other, hurled glass bottles and brawled on busy main roads following a heavy day of drinking.
Meanwhile livid locals hit out at the maskless mobs wreaking havoc on the north west city and said if the stadium is being open to Britons tonight then all grounds should be open to the Portuguese.
Thousands of Manchester City and Chelsea fans have descended on Portugal ahead of the teams’ Champions League final clash tonight, but supporters clashed with police officers at Ribeira, Porto
Supporters flocked around the river Douro in the city as they chanted, erected flags and toasted to their club’s success in a few hours
Police officers control supporters at Ribeira in Porto on May 28 on the eve of UEFA Champions League final football match between Manchester City and Chelsea
Manchester City supporters clashed with police at Ribeira in Porto on Saturday – the eve of UEFA Champions League final football match between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Dragao stadium
The festivities quickly got out of hand as large crowds supporters were seen clashing with police officers, who were dressed in riot gear, later on Saturday afternoon
Supporters were seen facing off to police officers at Ribeira in Porto on Saturday afternoon as they prepared for final between Manchester City and Chelsea
Men in shirts and others without cheer as they prepare for the first all-Engish final for years in Porto, Portugal, tonight
A long line of police officers stood guard in Porto as they watched Manchester City supporters ahead of the final
Police officer equipped with riot gear stood guard as Manchester City supporters enjoyed the joyous atmosphere in Portugal
Joyous scenes at Ribeira in Porto quickly escalated as police officers armed with riot gear descended on football fans
Manchester City supports enjoy the pre match atmosphere in Portugal on Saturday ahead of the final
Chelsea supporters gather and chant in downtown Porto in Portugal on Saturday
Thousands of Manchester City and Chelsea fans have descended on Portugal ahead of the teams’ Champions League final clash tonight
A group of Chelsea supporters spray bottles of beer while posing for a photo in downtown Porto on Saturday ahead of the clash
Masked Porto fans hold up a stolen Manchester City flag during the proceedings to the Champions League final in the Portuguese city
Boozy Britons took over pubs and bars in sunny Porto as they geared up for all-English fixture – the pinnacle in the European football calendar
Supporters flocked around the river Douro in the city as they chanted, erected flags and toasted to their club’s success in a few hours
The joyous scenes come just hours after the streets descended into chaos when Britons battled each other and police with tensions flaring last night
Fans perched overlooking a square in Porto rest on a wall while drinking during a sunny Saturday afternoon
Football fans who have made the trip appeared to head straight for the bars as thousands packed into the narrow streets around the river Douro
Fans in the Porto city centre fan park before the UEFA Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea at Estadio do Dragao
A member of the Portuguese police tries to hold back fans as Britons descended ahead of the all-English European final
Manchester City fans cheer as they drink in front of a bridge in Porto ahead of their side’s huge match against Chelsea this evening
Young Manchester City fans are pictured singing as others – who have been out in the sun all day – wave their arms in motion
Tables were full in the north west Portuguese city of Porto today as fans from Manchester and London descended to the centre
Some supporters take a break and sit on some stone steps amid a sea of Manchester City flags in Porto this afternoon
One Manchester City fan raises his arms as he chants in anticipation for the big match on Saturday night
A group of lads cheer as they drink and party in Porto before kick off between Chelsea and Manchester City in the final tonight
Two young fans shake hands with each other as they enjoy a pint as they eagerly await the huge stand off between Manchester City and Chelsea tonight
Football fans who have made the trip appeared to head straight for the bars as thousands packed into the narrow streets around the river Douro.
Chelsea and Manchester City supporters mixed with each other at the boozers as the pints began to flow early this morning.
Huge flags were draped over the side of a rock face above one of the pubs saying ‘Man City loyal’ and ‘boys in blue from division two’.
Meanwhile some fans opted for a calmer way to see the city as they glided around on Segways while donned their team kits.
Hostilities between the two sides appeared to have been put on ice as small groups made up of rival supporters smiled for photographs on the personal transporters.
Others enjoyed a kick about in a city centre square in the shadow of a huge replica of the Champions League trophy.
Some Britons will be heading to the Estádio do Dragão to watch the match live while police said thousands of others are expected to spectate from the bars.
Some 16,500 will be allowed to enter the huge ground to help maintain social distancing despite low Covid cases in Portugal.
But ticketless fans faced the added agony of not been able to watch the game to its finale if it reaches extra time and penalties.
Porto police spokesman Mario Almeda told Mailonline: ‘It doesn’t matter if the match continues after 10.30pm. Bars must close and TVs will be turned off.’
Bar and restaurant owners had hoped police would allow extensions to the 10.30pm curfew, which has been imposed as Portugal is still under Covid lockdown restrictions.
The match kicks off at 8pm and if extra time and penalties ensue, the final may not be decided until shortly before 11pm, raising fears that several thousand ticketless fans will pour onto the streets angered at not being able to see the game’s end.
A shirtless fan holds up a replica of the Champions League trophy at a bar as friends and family enjoy the sun on Saturday
A Manchester City fan, with a pint in hand smiles for a photograph as he holds hi mobile phone aloft on Saturday afternoon
A group of lads cheer as they sing and dance ahead of the big match between Chelsea and Manchester City tonight
A group of mates stand outside a bar on the street s festivities continue throughout the day in Porto, Portugal, today
A line of local policeman stand with one on the phone as they monitor the behaviour of the fans ahead of the match tonight
Groups of lads and ladies from Britain bake in the sun as they get drinking ahead of the Champions League final tonight
Manchester City fans relax with their pints in the city centre before the UEFA Champions League final kicks off this evening
Manchester City fans collect their match day tickets in Porto ahead of the match that kicks off on Saturday evening
Some punters sit on the side of a tram stop as they get the pints in ahead of tonight’s huge match between the two English giants
An armoured police car is parked on the street as officers monitor Britons who have made the trip to Portugal this weekend
City and Chelsea fans made their way to the stadium on Saturday evening to take in the view ahead of the final
A young Manchester City fan waves a sky blue flag reading ‘This is our City’ as he entered the Estadio do Dragao stadium in Porto
Fans are searched by stewards as they enter the stadium before the match which marks the end of the European club season
Manchester City fan Casey O’Brien, 29, of Denton, missed his original flight because the results of Covid test he took and paid for did not arrive in time.
He said: ‘It was really worrying. I went to Gatwick, missed the flight because my result hadn’t come through and had to re-book and take a test at the airport. I got the last flight out of Gatwick to Porto and got in at 10pm.
‘But it is great to be here despite all the hassle and extra cost. We have to go through it again on the return but that will be after we have won the Champions League. So it won’t be as bad.’
Tom Shaw, 29, a chartered surveyor from Knutsford, said: ‘Its the biggest ever game for City. I could not miss this match.
‘It has cost a sum north of £1000 but that is money well spent. There have been so many other obstacles with Covid. You have to have a Covid test within 72 hours before you can fly home.
‘I knew it would be problematic in Porto because thousands of Manchester City and Chelsea fans would need them.
‘So I had my return PCR test at Manchester airport before got on the plane here. I am leaving on Sunday morning, so that will still be within the 72 hours. Now all we need is to win the cup!’
Rob Brown, 30, an accountant from Hale, added: ‘It is a beautiful day. The Sun is shining and Manchester City are going home with the champions league cup for the first time.’
Man City fan Issy O’Brien,25, flew in on Saturday as a guest of the club’s owner Sheikh Mansour who forked out of plane seats for thousands of the Premier League champion’s loyal supporters.
She said: ‘After everything that people have been through over the last year, it is an absolute privilege to be here.’ The IT consultant added: ‘ Porto is a beautiful city. It is such a great place to have such a big match.’
Chelsea fan Kaz Khalick, 26, of Luton, unveiled a huge club flag with his fellow supporter Laurie Kavanagh.
Kaz said: ‘Our name is on the trophy. We have won it before. City have never won it and sadly for them tonight is not going to be the night for them.’
Jeremy Jackson, 54, of Cheam, Surry, added: ‘Its a shame that a few idiots cannot behave after a few pints of beer. Lets hope that is the end of the trouble and we can all look forward to a great match…with a Chelsea victory.’
Chelsea and Manchester City supporters mixed with each other at the boozers as the pints began to flow early this morning
Manchester City banners are hung from a rock face in the city centre as punters hit the bars below in the sun on Saturday afternoon
Huge flags were draped over the side of a rock face above one of the pubs saying ‘Man City loyal’ and ‘boys in blue from division two’
Hostilities between the two sides appeared to have been put on ice as small groups made up of rival supporters smiled for photographs on the personal transporters
Meanwhile some fans opted for a calmer way to see the city as they glided around on Segways while donned their team kits
Police watch over fans in the city centre of Porto before the UEFA Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea at Estadio do Dragao tonight
Chelsea fans relax as they enjoy a quiet moment ahead of a huge night of European football – where two British sides will fight it out for the cup
Chelsea fans take a selfie with a Giant UEFA Champions League Trophy ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final between Manchester City and Chelsea
Fans pose for a photograph with the Adidas official ball ahead of the UEFA Champions League final on Saturday evening
A young Chelsea fan gets tested for the coronavirus by medics ahead of the match on Saturday night
Locals are annoyed the stadium has been opened up for Britons to enjoy the Champions League final when they have not been allowed in for months.
Others are terrified the huge influx of foreigners in the city could lead to another spike in coronavirus infections – especially because the UK hosts a number of highly-contagious variants.
Resident Alexandre Magalhaes told the Guardian: ‘If they open [the stadiums] for the English, they should open [them] for all.’
His government had said English football fans would have to fly in today for the match, stay in a bubble before flying home immediately after the game finished.
But they scrapped the bubble requirment on Thursday and later lifted restrictions on movement amid the overwhelming number of Britons.
Another local said: ‘If these [new rules] are true I will not comply with any more lockdowns. This is a shame for everyone who continues to comply with health rules.’
Locals are annoyed the stadium has been opened up for Britons to enjoy the Champions League final when they have not been allowed in for months. Pictured: A bus at Porto airport
Others are terrified the huge influx of foreigners in the city could lead to another spike in coronavirus infections – especially because the UK hosts a number of highly-contagious variants. Pictured: Porto airport
Resident Alexandre Magalhaes told the Guardian: ‘If they open [the stadiums] for the English, they should open [them] for all.’ Pictured: City fans at Porto airport
Portugal’s government had said English football fans would have to fly in today for the match, stay in a bubble before flying home immediately after the game finished
Another local said: ‘If these [new rules] are true I will not comply with any more lockdowns. This is a shame for everyone who continues to comply with health rules.’ Pictured: Fans at Porto airport
Three fans flash their Covid negative wristbands that will let them enter the ground for the Champions League final tonight
Fans of Chelsea pose for a photograph ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final between Manchester City and Chelsea tonight
Last night rival gangs from the two teams clashed with riot police armed with batons on the streets of Porto ahead of tonight’s fixture.
Supporters fought each other and local officers by the Douro river in the north-west Portuguese city after a bar stool was hurled back and forth.
Armed with flags adorned with their club crests, English fans flouted social distancing as they threw punches and lit up flares in skirmishes following a day of heavy drinking.
Photos earlier in the day showed hundreds of topless supporters drinking and cheering ahead of the UEFA Champions League final at the Dragao stadium, the home ground of FC Porto.
Up to 16,500 fans will be admitted, with each side allocated 6,000 tickets – with around 2,000 going to UEFA delegates and sponsors – and the rest sold to regular punters in Portugal.
But thousands more who do not have tickets will also face the agony of missing the game on TV, as bars in Porto close at 10.30pm on Saturday night as per coronavirus regulations.
Antonio Fonseca, chairman of the Association of Bar Keepers of Historic Porto, said he feared there would be trouble if bars and restaurants closed at that time.
He told MailOnline: ‘I’m worried about this aspect – if the game goes into extra time and it has penalties like the other night it won’t finish until maybe 10.45, so we face the prospect of owners asking people to leave with the match yet to finish. Who is going to be brave enough to tell these people who have been drinking all day to go?
‘It raises the possibility of violence and aggression and that’s why we asked the local council for an extension but so far we have heard nothing. It’s not going to be easy to ask the English supporters to leave.
‘This situation should have been taken care of. In the past, the Porto authorities met with us but unfortunately, they have not done so.
‘Everything will shut at the same time which means there will be large groups on the streets and the police will have to disperse them quickly.’
Rival gangs of English football fans clashed with riot police armed with batons on the streets of Porto last night ahead of the hotly anticipated Champions League final tonight
Manchester City fans seen clashing with Portuguese police in Porto on Friday night ahead of the Champions League Final tonight
Manchester City fans seen in Porto ahead of the Champions League Final. There were chaotic scenes as they clashed with each other and police
Chelsea fan Adrian Garrat, from Dorking, who arrived last night said: ‘What? The bars shut at 10.30? That’s the first I’ve heard of it. Sounds crazy to me if it goes to extra time and penalties.’
There were shameful scenes along the riverside in Porto city centre as rivals fought after a day of drinking in the sunshine. Several punch ups broke out and police baton charged fans to stop the violence.
Police had banned glasses and bottles and the throwing of beer at rivals did not result in serious injury.
One officer said: ‘The English fans have been drinking all day and some have tried to fight. But we have stopped them. They have been warned they will be jailed if they do not behave.’
Thousands of fans will take day trips on Saturday to the final, and will be escorted to and from the stadium and airport to limit exposure in a Covid-secure bubble.
A total of 16,500 fans are allowed to watch the game in the stadium, 33 per cent of the 50,000 capacity. More have travelled either in the hope of finding a ticket or simply to be in close proximity to the action while on holiday.
Fans have to have proof of a negative PCR Covid test to enter the venue carried out from May 26 or lateral flow test from May 28.
The game was originally supposed to take place in Istanbul, but the UK placed Turkey on the ‘red’ list – meaning travellers would have had to quarantine for 14-days upon their return.
There are others arriving in Porto who are not restricted by those measures who the police are said to be keeping a close eye on.
Portugal was one of only a handful of countries added to the UK’s ‘green list’ of places to travel from May 17.
But hundreds of thousands of Britons may use a loophole to fly there before travelling over land to their second homes in Spain, France and Italy.
The opening up of flights saw a rush of people jetting to Faro, Porto or Lisbon but there was nothing to stop them renting a car and driving into Europe.