Manchester United have condemned fans involved in chants about the Hillsborough tragedy on Thursday night.
A small section of travelling supporters were heard singing offensive songs on several occasions during Liverpool’s 2-0 victory in the first leg of the Europa League last-16 tie.
References were made to the 1989 disaster when 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death in the FA Cup semi-final between the Reds and Nottingham Forest.
A Manchester United statement read: “It has always been the position of Manchester United that chants of this nature, which refer to historical tragedies, have no place in the game and do not refelct the club’s values.
“We are discussing with fans to seek support in preventing this behaviour in the future.”
First-half chants of ‘the Sun was right’ refer to a story in the Sun newspaper four days after the tragedy which criticised Liverpool fans’ behaviour at the time. The article subsequently resulted in a mass boycott of the media outlet in Merseyside.
Chants from the away end were also reported to have focused on the Heysel disaster, when 39 fans died before the 1985 European Cup final between Juventus and Liverpool.
Uefa will decide whether or not to take disciplinary action against the Old Trafford club after considering a report from the match.
Merseyside Police have yet to receive any formal complaints about Thursday’s incident, but match commander chief superintendent Jon Ward has pledged to take action if the situation changes.
“Merseyside Police takes all reports seriously and where offences are identified, we would investigate such complaints thoroughly.”
Stan Collymore led the criticism on social media of the songs heard during the European fixture.
“Those songs speak only for the people singing them,” Collymore tweeted.
Several fixtures throughout the years between the North West rivals have been tarnished by chants about the Hillsborough tragedy and the 1958 Munich air disaster which claimed the lives of eight United players and three club officials.
Former Liverpool midfielder Ray Houghton told BBC Radio 5 live the chants were “dreadful”.
“It has to come out of our game,” he said. “There were people in the crowd who lost loved ones at Hillsborough and that’s really hard to take.
“It’s something we don’t want to hear. It’s happened in the past with Liverpool fans to Manchester United with what happened at Munich. It’s uncalled for.”
Former United striker Dion Dublin told BBC Radio Manchester the songs were “disgusting”.
“It leaves a bad taste in your mouth,” he said. “It’s not in good taste, and the people that were actually singing it should feel embarrassed.”