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Football Reporting

Champions League

Real Madrid star says bus attack gave side “extra motivation” against Liverpool

Liverpool fans did their best to intimidate their opponents ahead of their Champions League clash at Anfield on Wednesday, but Federico Valverde insists the attack on Real Madrid’s team bus only served to fire him and his teammates up more.

As per the norm on European nights, Liverpool supporters congregated outside the stadium prior to kick-off to welcome both teams on their arrival.

Despite warnings amid the coronavirus pandemic, fans lined the streets around Anfield letting off flares, before events quickly turned sour.

Madrid’s bus was pelted with various objects, resulting in a smashed window – a similar treatment received by Man City in 2018.

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Liverpool released a statement condemning the actions of those responsible, but Valverde was unperturbed by the incident, and claims Madrid were able to use it to their advantage.

Liverpool fans gave Real Madrid's bus a hostile welcoming to Anfield on Wednesday
Liverpool fans gave Real Madrid’s bus a hostile welcoming to Anfield on Wednesday

“It was nothing. I come from Peñarol, it’s normal. It was nothing,” the Uruguayan said.

“It gave us extra motivation, and we thought ‘Ok, now on the field we are going to go out to kill and to leave everything behind.”

Police estimated around 400 people flocked to Anfield Road despite being urged to stay away.

Fortunately only one pane of the double-glazed window was broken, meaning no one inside the bus was hurt.

Liverpool staff were then seen cleaning up the mess of shattered glass all over the floor outside the stadium before the club issued a swift response.

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“We condemn unequivocally the actions that led to Real Madrid ’s team bus being damaged during its arrival to Anfield this evening,” a Liverpool spokesman said.

A window pane was shattered after objects were thrown at the bus
A window pane was shattered after objects were thrown at the bus

“It is totally unacceptable and shameful behaviour of a few individuals.

“We sincerely apologise to our visitors for any distress caused. We will work together with Merseyside Police to establish the facts and identify those responsible.”

It did little to knock Madrid off their stride as they battled to a 0-0 draw to book their place in the semi-finals following their 3-1 first leg victory.

Valverde himself played through the pain barrier with a bruised heel after being forced into action due to Madrid’s lack of available right-back options, helping his side through to the next round where they will now meet Chelsea.

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