Rangers return to Manchester two years after riots

RANGERS fans last night pleaded to be allowed to travel to Manchester for a Champions League clash despite trouble in the city during the Uefa Cup Final two years ago.

Manchester United and Rangers were drawn together in Group C at yesterday's Champions League draw in Monaco, along with Spanish side Valencia and Turkey's Bursaspor.

The 2008 Uefa Cup final in Manchester between Rangers and Zenit St Petersburg, which the Glasgow side lost 2-0, was marred by ugly scenes as Ibrox fans rioted in the city centre.

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Rangers Supporters Trust chairman Stephen Smith insisted Rangers fans could be trusted not to cause trouble this time, saying: "People will make a lot of the fact that we are going back to Manchester but I don't see any reason at all why Rangers fans shouldn't be allowed to go because of the over-hyped bother in 2008.

"There were around 200,000 Rangers fans in Manchester for the final and only a tiny, tiny amount, a tiny fraction, were involved in trouble.

Rangers Supporters Assembly president, Andy Kerr said: "No doubt the prospect of Rangers fans visiting Manchester again so soon after the 2008 Uefa Cup Final will attract a reaction.