UEFA Champions League 2016/17: Etihad Stadium evacuated ahead of Manchester City's clash against Barcelona
Ahead of the mouth-watering Champions League group stage clash between Barcelona and Manchester City, there has been a bit of an issue at the Etihad stadium where the match kicks off at 7:45 PM GMT. All the officials, fans and team representatives at the Etihad were evacuated after there were alarms going off in the stadium around 4:30 PM GMT today.
Fans took to social media to share the news about the alarms going off after there were a number of people assembled outside the stadium on a cold winter day in Manchester at around 5:15 PM GMT. There were also a number of tweets that reported that the evacuation was reported to be an ‘emergency’ which obviously had fans around the area concerned.
While there was a major concern about the match being called off, all such worries have been brushed aside after a club spokesperson told SunSport that the evacuation is over and the stadium was safe and clear. The club's social media manager also took to Twitter to report that everybody had safely returned into the stadium and appreciated the security and staff for their effort.
Manchester City will be all fired up for this game after their fantastic 4-0 victory over West Brom on Saturday which was their first win after a six-game winless run which started with their draw against Celtic in the Champions League. Their clash against Barcelona is going to be vital in determining City’s chances of going through to the next round and Guardiola has also said in the press conference that the game is nothing short of a final for Manchester City.
Barcelona, on the other hand, will be a bit more relaxed after they picked up 3 wins in their 3 games and are in prime position for the top spot in the group. However, Enrique’s men will surely look to pick up all three points in order to build momentum going into the league. The Catalans earned all three points against Granada in a game which was tougher than anticipated for Luis Enrique’s men.
Barcelona are without some of their best players including Andres Iniesta, Gerrard Pique, and Jordi Alba. Samuel Umtiti is expected to team up with Javier Mascherano in defence while Lucas Digne will be taking Alba’s place at left-back. Rafinha, Andre Gomes, Arda Turan and Denis Suarez will fight for Iniesta’s spot in what promises to be a fierce encounter.
Follow the game live here.