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THOUSANDS of United supporters flooded the streets of Manchester city centre after their team were crowned champions of Europe.

And thousands more converged on old Trafford, streaming up Sir Matt Busby Way to celebrate their victory.

Greater Manchester Police reported no major trouble. In stark contrast to the scenes in the aftermath of last week's the UEFA Cup final, supporters reacted with jubilation on the streets of Manchester.
A police spokesman said: "The reaction has been one of jubilation because the team won. There has been a policing operation in place, but no major problems have been reported."

The roar of fans who had packed pubs and bars in huge numbers could be heard across the city as the team clinched a heart-stopping 6-5 penalty shoot-out win over Chelsea.

It was a triumph that came nine years after United last won Europe's premier club competition, during their historic treble of 1999.

And it cements the present-day side's reputation as one of the truly great United sides in the year the club marked the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster.

"I think there was a bit of fate about it."

The match, which was deadlocked at 1-1 after both 90 minutes and extra time, finally ended at 1.35am in Moscow when United keeper Edwin van der Sar saved the final spot-kick from former Manchester City favourite Nicolas Anelka.


Within minutes of the victory fans gathered at Old Trafford in front of the Sir Matt Busby statue.

Vendors sold inflatable European Cups and passing cars beeped their horns amid a carnival atmosphere.

In the shadows of Old Trafford at Sam Platt's pub about 800 Reds had watched the match in a frenzied atmosphere. A specially erected marquee decked out in United flags and banners was packed to the rafters by the majority of the crowd.

They danced with delight as Edwin Van Der Sar's penalty save sealed the cup for United.

Strangers in red shirts threw their arms around each other as the atmosphere exploded. .


Danny Openshaw, 28, from Whitefield, near Bury, said: "I'm going to take the day off work. I'm off up to Old Trafford to do the conga.

"I don't even know how I'm going to get home."

His friend Carl Taylor, 26, from Radcliffe, described it as "the best day of his life". He added: "This is a fantastic tribute to those who died at Munich."

Richard Sanders, 21, from Oxford, said: "This is the best feeling I've ever had. I was too young to really appreciate it in 1999 and this is fantastic."

Wendy Andrews, 52, from Nottingham, said: "It's absolutely fantastic and a fitting tribute.
"I will be celebrating with a bottle of champagne if I can find one."

Steph and Nigel Spode, 23, and 45, from London, had travelled to Manchester to watch the game.

Nigel said: "The lads froze for the Man City game in February and I think the pressure of it being the Munich anniversary got to them.

"I hoped that wouldn't happen tonight and it didn't. We're both ecstatic."

Chants of 'Championes, Championes' rang out as jubilant fans stayed in the marquee to celebrate. One man proposed to his wife, while others threw their drinks in the air in celebration.

As the first half unfolded every United tackle was met with cheers while boos rang out during periods of Chelsea possession. When Christiano Ronaldo headed United into the lead the pub erupted. Amid wild and raucous celebrations strangers wearing United shirts hugged each other.


Within seconds chants of Ronaldo filled the room. But as disaster struck on the verge of half-time their celebrations were cut short. The marquee was filled with downcast fans holding their heads in their hands - but it did not take long for the atmosphere to be cranked up again. Chants of United, United rang out as the half-time whistle blew.

More than 7,000 fans watched the match in the MEN Arena on large screens after plans to show it in the city were axed because of trouble following the Rangers game.

Anne Chapman, 50, from Wilmslow said: "I am absolutely ecstatic I never doubted that we would win it. This means the world to me. They played their hearts out.

Her son Mark Chapman, 15 said: I can't believe it. It's out of this world. I'm speechless."

Penalty joy

Sarah Mills, 25 a United fan said: "I'm absolutely made up. I thought we were going to win 2 -1 so when it got to penalties my heart was beating this is incredible. We are the Champions."

Christine Spencer, from Rusholme, 27 told the MEN: "I've come to the arena because there were no screens in the city centre and here you can capture some of the atmosphere, at £10 a ticket it's a lot cheaper than going to Moscow and everybody here is a Red."

Hundreds of United fans packed Exchange Square in the run-up to the big match.

A singing, dancing crowd spread out from Sinclair's Oyster Bar turning the area into a swirling mass of red.

Many were drinking openly in the street but under the watchful gaze of a few riot squad officers the mood stayed jovial.

Videos on right hand side. :D

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