Everton fans clash with French police before Europa stalemate

 
Ross McLean
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EVERTON fans were targeted with tear gas fired by French police during clashes in the city’s main square before the club’s Europa League fixture in Lille yesterday.

The Merseyside club later issued a message on Twitter advising travelling supporters to avoid the Grand Place square ahead of the Group H clash, which ended goalless.

Trouble is said to have flared BY ROSS MCLEAN when French police chased an individual into the square where Everton fans were congregated, with Merseyside Police liaison officers present in the city.

Everton’s stuttering Premier League form has not been replicated in Europe where a rigid defensive performance kept the French side at bay and maintained their unbeaten European record this term.

Roberto Martinez’s side remain in pole position in the group with five points following a draw away from home against Russian side FK Krasnador and their opening night demolition of Wolfsburg.

England midfielder Ross Barkley made his first European start as the 20-year-old continued his return to action following a knee injury, while on-loan Liverpool striker Divock Origi proved lively in the Lille attack.

The away side’s best chance came when Romelu Lukaku slid in Aiden McGeady only for the former Celtic forward to be denied by Nigerian World Cup keeper Vincent Enyeama.