Seville on alert after Frankfurt ultras attack Rangers fans

Five Eintracht Frankfurt fans were arrested in Seville on Tuesday night after an attack launched on Rangers supporters ahead of the teams' Europa League final on Wednesday.

Seville on alert after Frankfurt ultras attack Rangers fans
Up to 100,000 Rangers fans and at least 60,000 Frankfurt supporters are expected to have followed their teams to the final, raising concerns about security. (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP)

Several police vans were called at around midnight to neutralise ugly scenes in the centre of the Spanish city where glasses, flares and tables were being thrown.

There were no serious injuries, a police statement confirmed on Wednesday, although one Rangers fan sustained a head injury.

The statement said: “The events took place around midnight last night, when there was a massive fight in front of the Cathedral of Seville.

“The members of the Police Intervention Units that were located in the Plaza de San Francisco had to intervene quickly to break up an incident caused by a group of 200 Eintracht Frankfurt fans who were attacking Glasgow Rangers supporters.”

After seeing police arriving, Frankfurt fans “fled towards Paseo Colón, beating Rangers supporters as they fled and confronting police officers who were trying to prevent the Scottish supporters from attacking.

“The police proceeded to arrest four German fans in the vicinity of Paseo de Colón and another German supporter in Puerta de Jérez.”

Estimates suggest Seville will increase its population by a quarter on Wednesday as huge numbers of fans arrive in the city for the final at Sevilla’s Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán.

Up to 100,000 Rangers fans and at least 60,000 Frankfurt supporters are expected to have followed their teams to the final, raising concerns about security.

Frankfurt fans clashed with West Ham fans in Seville when the former were playing Real Betis and the latter Sevilla in March.

Rangers’ last European final the 2008 UEFA Cup against Zenit St Petersburg in Manchester was marred by violence as 39 people were arrested and riot police called in.

Police hope to separate fans without tickets for the match on Wednesday night.

Rangers fans not attending the game will be able to watch in a fan zone at La Cartuja stadium, located on the outskirts of Seville and nine kilometres from the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán.

Ticketless Frankfurt supporters will be urged to congregate at the Prado de San Sebastián, closer to the centre but six kilometres away from La Cartuja.

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Spain thrash Costa Rica 7-0 in World Cup opener

Spain shredded Costa Rica 7-0 on Wednesday in a brutal destruction in their Group E opener which launched their bid to lift a second World Cup.

Spain thrash Costa Rica 7-0 in World Cup opener

Avoiding the fate of giants Argentina and group rivals Germany, who lost 2-1 to Japan earlier on, Luis Enrique’s fancied side sparkled at Doha’s Al Thumama Stadium, dominating possession and taking their chances mercilessly.

Ferran Torres netted twice and Marco Asensio, Dani Olmo, Gavi, Carlos Soler and Alvaro Morata were also on the scoresheet for the Euro 2020 semi-finalists in an emphatic romp.

In the past the 2010 World Cup winners have paid the price for profligacy, but all three forwards Luis Enrique selected netted in the first half to pay back his trust in them.

The coach placed Asensio at false nine, flanked by Olmo and Torres, starting with Morata and Ansu Fati on the bench.

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The coach opted to deploy Manchester City midfielder Rodri Hernandez in central defence, alongside club team-mate Aymeric Laporte, correctly anticipating his team would monopolise the ball.

It took only 11 minutes for La Roja to open the scoring, with Gavi stabbing a pass forward for Olmo to receive in the area and the RB Leipzig winger taking one sublime touch to turn and another to stroke the ball gently past Keylor Navas.

Costa Rica, who were a surprise package at the 2014 World Cup, beating Italy and Uruguay and drawing with England to top their group, were sliced apart again for the second goal 10 minutes later.

Jordi Alba’s low drilled cross was rammed home by Real Madrid forward Asensio past his former team-mate Navas, who might have done more to keep it out.

Torres stroked home from the penalty spot after Alba was fouled by Oscar Duarte –- a soft call on a hard night for Los Ticos, who were never in the game and failed to muster a shot at goal.

Barcelona forward Torres capitalised on more slack defending to fire the fourth past Navas early in the second half.

Luis Enrique was able to take off the effervescent Pedri and Torres before the hour mark in order to rest them for Sunday’s clash with Germany, and handed teenage Barcelona left-back Alejandro Balde his debut.

The 19-year-old roared up the pitch in the build-up to Spain’s fifth goal, with substitute Morata crossing for Gavi to drill home with aplomb.

Kopa Trophy winner Gavi became the third youngest goalscorer at a World Cup at 18 years and 110 days old, after Mexico’s Manuel Rosas and record holder Pele.

Soler and Morata then got in on the act with stoppage-time strikes to pile further misery on Costa Rica and help Spain flex their muscles in a perfect opening match in Qatar.