Blood was pouring from heads, and men laid out unconscious in the streets. Last night, Manchester City´s fans learned the hard way that the Spanish Police haven´t changed much since General Franco died in 1975.
What started off as a peaceful drinking session outside the Estadio Santiago Bernebeu in Madrid turned into a scene of bloody violence as Manchester City fans clashed with the Spanish Police.
City fans had gathered at one of the bars outside the world-famous stadium and were drinking and singing on the street before the historic game. However, this all proved too much for the Spanish Police as they marched onto the scene and demanded that the City fans move on.
Without provocation Police then began to hit fans around the back of the thighs and buttocks with truncheons in a move to force them to get away. Not being used to these heavy-handed tactics, City fans began to protest the Police´s actions, which only caused the police to turn more aggressive, beating fans around the head, knocking them to the floor.
Faced with the Police violence, some of the City fans began to become more aggressive. Drinks came flying in, hitting the Police on their backs and helmets, causing a stream of police vans to come tearing down the road at high speed. More policemen piled out, truncheons waving as they began to hit fans across their backs and heads.
Children ran for cover. Old men fled from the scene. Some people took refuge in the bar, while others like myself, tried to mingle in with the Spanish crowd that was forming, filming the Police as they ran.
Eventually the violence subsided, and City fans were escorted to the match, surrounded by riot police armed with truncheons, shields and shotguns.