Atalanta’s players reportedly woke up six times to the noise of fire alarms in their team hotel on the night before their Champions League tie at Manchester United.
One hotel guest on Twitter claimed the alarms could be heard in the early hours of Wednesday at 04:51, 05:00, 05:36, 06:11, 06:31 and 07:13 AM at The Edwardian Manchester hotel, where Gian Piero Gasperini’s staff and players were staying.
Roksana Malinovskiy, the wife of Atalanta midfielder Ruslan Malinovskiy, took to social media to accuse locals in Manchester of deliberately setting off the alarms as a prank to impact the players’ preparations for the match, and even hinted that Atalanta fans could return the gesture before the reverse fixture next month.
She wrote on Instagram: “Hellish night in Manchester. Throughout the night in the hotel the fire alarm was turned on at full power 5 times.
“It happened just when the team arrived, and only at night! Do you think this is an accident? I don’t. From such a “warm” welcome from the local population, it becomes terrible in the heart.
“I hope that our fans will support the team in our home game, and maybe the same thing will suddenly happen in an Italian hotel.”
Heading into the game at Old Trafford, the Serie A club are top of Group F after a 2-2 draw with Villarreal and a 1-0 win over Young Boys, while United are third.
Greater Manchester Police have told the public that the city centre will be busier than expected and have instructed people to plan ahead of making journeys on Wednesday evening.
Chief Superintendent Phil Davies, Commander of the Policing Operation said: “Greater Manchester Police will work alongside Manchester United, local authorities, as well as partner agencies, to minimise disruption from this football fixture.
“We will have various policing operations in place during the day and this evening to ensure that all of those attending, including the visiting fans from Europe, can enjoy the game in a safe environment.”
Next month, United will travel to Bergamo for the reverse fixture at the Gewiss Stadium on November 2.