Crowd trouble breaks out between West Ham and Rapid Vienna fans during Europa League game as visitors try to storm home end and throw missiles – including a BOTTLED WATER COOLER – at London Stadium
- Ugly scenes of fan violence marred West Ham’s 2-0 win over Rapid Vienna
- Trouble was brewing before the match and escalated after Declan Rice scored
- West Ham defender Aaron Cresswell had a few objects thrown at him in first half
- David Moyes urged fans to ‘behave correctly’ so they are welcomed in Europe
Ugly scenes marred West Ham’s 2-0 win over Rapid Vienna in the Europa League on Thursday after crowd trouble broke out between rival fans.
Many of the small contingent of Vienna fans tried to storm the home section, jumping the barriers and racing towards the West Ham fans.
Stewards desperately tried to hold the Vienna supporters at bay, while police wielding batons intervened to force the surge back.
Both sets of supporters were seen throwing objects at each other, which shockingly including a giant bottled water cooler.
That incident broke out after Declan Rice had put the Hammers in front at the London Stadium in the first half, with West Ham fans taunting their rival supporters, sparking confrontation in the stands.
West Ham defender Aaron Cresswell also had objects thrown at him when he took a corner late in the first half.
The trouble began before the match when the away fans antagonised the West Ham supporters and lobbed bottles at the home section right before a light show at the London Stadium ahead of kick-off.
West Ham and Rapid Vienna fans clashed with each other during their Europa League match
The visiting fans had antagonised West Ham supporters before the game kicked off
Shockingly, a bottled water cooler was among the objects thrown as both sets of supporters clashed at the London Stadium on Thursday night, while smaller bottles were also hurled
A Vienna supporter hurls a bottle towards West Ham fans as a group of visiting fans attempt to storm into the home supporters’ section of the stadium
The trouble then cranked up after Rice gave West Ham the lead and the home fans began taunting their Austrian visitors, who threw more bottles in response.
There were more outbreaks of violence at full-time and riot police were called in to bring an end to the melee. Vienna fans again attempted to storm into the home supporters’ section of the stadium.
West Ham coach David Moyes said he had seen some of the trouble from pitchside while urging fans to control themselves and protect the club’s reputation on the continent.
‘I was aware of some things being thrown,’ Moyes said.
Police use batons in an attempt to control the violence among the Rapid Vienna supporters
One Vienna supporter gestures angrily towards the police after a baton was wielded at him
Rapid Vienna’s fans were in a confrontational mood at the London Stadium on Thursday
Police attempt to hold back supporters, including one wearing a balaclava, at the final whistle
The scenes were a reminder of the trouble that marred West Ham’s 2016 move to the stadium
‘We want to be a club regularly in Europe and because of that we want to behave correctly.
‘I don’t know who started it but we don’t want that reputation, we want to be seen as a club who can travel to Europe and everybody welcomes us.’
Crowd trouble was a common occurrence when West Ham moved to the London Stadium in 2016, with violence breaking out in Premier League matches against Watford and Middlesbrough.
Things came to a head in a League Cup win over Chelsea that same year, when the opposing fans pelted each other with coins and seats were ripped out of the stadium.
West Ham’s historic association with hooliganism also makes the club an attractive target for rival ‘ultra’ groups of hardcore, often hooligan, supporters.
The 2005 film Green Street, starring Elijah Wood, is among the examples of glamourising or promoting West Ham’s hooligan past in popular culture.
The trouble truly erupted just after Declan Rice scored to give West Ham a 28th-minute lead
The clashes are seen erupting in the stands just after Rice scored the opening goal
West Ham midfielder Rice argues with the referee on a night of tension on and off the pitch
West Ham manager David Moyes urged fans to ‘behave correctly’ on European nights