Mikel Arteta has led his Gunners team to pay tribute to victims of the Hillsborough disaster ahead of the Liverpool clash today, April 9.
Arsenal’s head coach Arteta went together with the team’s captain Martin Odegaard yesterday, April 8, as they prepare for the Premier League battle against Jurgen Klopp’s side today.
As they prepare for the blockbuster match, Arteta and his captain went to the memorial for the Hillsborough catastrophe victims on Saturday evening following Arsenal’s arrival in Liverpool.
The 41-year-old Spanish tactician accompanied by Martin Odegaard, both wore an all-black Arsenal tracksuit and carried a bouquet to honor the deceased.
The image of the pair was posted on the official Arsenal Twitter account with the caption: “Our thoughts are with our friends at Liverpool FC and all the families of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster – April 15, 1989”.
About Hillsborough disaster – April 15, 1989″
An FA Cup semifinal match-up was scheduled between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest on the 15th of April, 1989, at Hillsborough, a neutral venue.
Being a crucial match, the sold-out ticket was expected to draw more than 53,000 spectators.
And to prevent unruly and thuggery behavior from fans, supporters from the two teams were directed to enter from different sides of the stadium.
Liverpool fans who came to watch the match with tickets were to enter along Leppings Lane.
There the fans were to pass through one of seven turnstiles, leading to two tunnels that opened into an enclosed high fence with narrow gates called pens.
The central pens 3 and 4 were accessed from the main tunnel, while the other pens which were the side pens were reached through the less prominent corridor.
However, due to the limited number of turnstiles, a blockage occurred as approximately 10,100 fans attempted to enter the stadium on the Leppings Lane side.
30 minutes before the kickoff, more than half of those fans were still outside struggling to enter.
In an attempt to ease the congestion, Yorkshire Police Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield, who knew little about policing football matches at Hillsborough, ordered the opening of exit gate C about 8 minutes to kick off.
About 2,000 fans passed through gate C even though the side pens were somewhat empty, the majority of the fans headed straight to the main tunnel and the already crowded pens 3 and 4.
Unfortunately, as fans sprinted into those pens, a deadly collision happened with many people caught in the midst, frantically trying to escape.
Meanwhile, some security officials present initially thought the problem to be hooligan fans, and it was not until five minutes after kickoff that the match was stopped.
Poor communications and coordination further complicated rescue efforts, leading to the untimely death of 97 people.
One of the victims died in 1993 when he was taken off life support, while another with brain injury gave up the ghost in 2021.
In addition, more than 760 football fans were injured following the catastrophe.
The police later blamed the incident on Liverpool fans, whom they alleged were drunk and were acting violently.
Liverpool vs Arsenal Match Today
The Gunners have a bad record at Anfield in the Premier League.
However, Mikel Arteta is confident they can end their 11-year wait for a victory at Anfield as they take on Liverpool this afternoon, Sunday, April 9.
With an initial 3-2 victory against Liverpool, Arsenal will want to extend their margin of victory at the top of the Premier League table.
Arsenal will travel to Anfield stadium to lock horns with Liverpool in a match believed to be one of the intriguing Premier League clashes.
The kick-off time for the match is scheduled for 4:30 pm.
What’s your thought about the tribute and which team do you think would win?