Celtic praised by Manchester police

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Celtic fans have been hailed as "ambassadors of Glasgow" by Manchester police.

Thousands of supporters travelled down to watch last night's 3-0 Champions League defeat at Manchester United and the police today reported "very few incidents and arrests".

The Manchester authorities were desperate to avoid a repeat of the ugly scenes which marred the most recent visit by a Scottish club to the city.

A minority of Rangers fans wreaked havoc during last season's Uefa Cup final at the City of Manchester Stadium.

That led to Manchester City Council, Greater Manchester Police and Manchester United issuing a joint statement urging ticketless Celtic fans not to travel to last night's game.

Match commander Superintendent John Graves was delighted with the outcome.

He said on Celtic's official website: "Whilst I know the result of the game wasn't what Celtic fans would have wanted, the result of the overall event surely was.

"Making such events a success is not just down to the police and the clubs, it's a responsibility of everyone involved, especially the supporters.

"As the police match commander at Old Trafford, I would like to pass on my thanks to those Celtic fans who came to support their club in the finest traditions of genuine football fans, and ambassadors of Glasgow.

"From a policing and safety perspective, the game was a great success. There were very few incidents and arrests, and nothing that should detract from a great footballing occasion.

"I have to say that Celtic Football Club has every right to be proud of its fans. Those who braved the night in a windy and wet Manchester were a credit to the club.

"I would also like to compliment the Celtic stewards who helped tremendously throughout the game and added great value to the safety operation.

"We have a cliche in Manchester about the eyes of Europe being upon Old Trafford during these massive football games, and this was no exception.

"I believe that Celtic fans did a great deal to enhance not only the club's reputation across Europe, but also their own - well done."