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More hooliganism shames English soccer

Apr 14, 2013, 1:48 PM EST

Millwall fans fight with police officers during FA Cup semi-final soccer match against Wigan Athletic at Wembley Stadium in London Reuters

A day after dreadful scenes of crowd violence at Wembley in one of the highest-profile games of the English season, Newcastle fans attacked police in Newcastle city center after a 3-0 win for arch-rivals Sunderland today.

A police officer was taken to hospital and 27 people were arrested, Sky News reported. According to the channel, a subway station had to be closed for an hour after Newcastle fans attempted to confront Sunderland supporters. Trash cans were set alight, bottles were thrown and firecrackers were aimed at police.

Sunderland’s comprehensive victory kept Newcastle at risk of relegation from the Premier League and was the Black Cats’ first win at St James’s Park since 2000. The two cities are less than 13 miles apart and the derbies are some of the most hotly-contested in the English game.

The disorder comes after ugly events in London yesterday, as Millwall fans attacked each other in the stands of the national stadium as their team lost 2-0 to Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup semi-finals. Photographs and video showed young children in tears and men grappling with police. The Metropolitan Police said that 14 people were arrested, 12 from Millwall, and four officers received minor injuries.

One of the theories punted in the wake of the trouble is that a kick-off of 5.15pm local time gave too many people too much time to drink excessively. Millwall have long had a reputation as a club with a hooligan problem. It was the worst violence yet seen in the new Wembley, which opened in 2007.

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