English football sunk to a new low with the revelation that Manchester United's tunnel bust-up with Liverpool on Saturday was sparked by a spitting storm.
This is the latest menace to hit the Premier League which has already been ridiculed by a couple of racism cases involving star players.
United keeper David De Gea was spat at as he walked to the Old Trafford dressing room at half-time, according to The Sun.
Players from both sides had to be parted by stewards as the explosive confrontation threatened to escalate into a full-on brawl, it said.
Police became involved in an effort to calm tensions and keep the feuding sides apart following an explosive first 45 minutes, which saw Luis Suarez refuse to shake the hand of Patrice Evra before kick-off.
It is unclear who was responsible for the spitting.
The report quoting an unnamed source said: "De Gea was making his way to the tunnel and was clearly shocked to be spat at.
"Obviously the players reacted angrily and both teams became involved, before stewards managed to quieten it down."
Tempers were frayed again at the end of United's 2-1 victory when Liverpool substitute Craig Bellamy got involved in a confrontation with the Old Trafford head of security as players left the pitch.
The build-up to the high-octane clash had focussed on whether the much-awaited handshake between Patrice Evra and Suarez would take place.
Suarez perhaps ignited the simmering tensions by snubbing Evra though apologising later for the non-event after being criticised by Liverpool bosses.
The Football Association will now have to conduct a probe into the spitting incident.
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