MANCHESTER United fans who caused thousands of pounds damage at Barnsley's Oakwell ground will be tracked down and punished, senior police said last night.
Visiting supporters caused mayhem at half-time in the Carling Cup tie on Tuesday night, severely damaging several refreshment kiosks and brawling with riot police.
Three staff who were attempting to serve fans were forced to lock themselves in a store room after the trouble started, and club bosses said parts of the north stand were wrecked.
Chief Insp Shaun Morley , who was in charge of the police operation at the match, said: "Before the match there was nothing to suggest we would see that level of violence and disorder.
"Obviously we had been through all the scenarios and we managed to quickly and effectively bring the situation under control.
"The violence was triggered when some fans started to take things from the refreshment stalls without paying. This led to the staff in the stalls trying to close, which then angered a number of supporters."
Two Manchester men, aged 22 and 24, were arrested for public order offences, while another aged 26, was arrested for theft. They were still being questioned last night.
Chief Insp Morley added: "We are now conducting a very thorough post-match investigation, and other fans who were involved in the trouble will be robustly pursued by our officers."
Another man, aged 32 and also from Manchester, was arrested for coin-throwing, while three Barnsley fans were arrested after running on to the pitch.
A Barnsley FC spokesman said: "The club is working closely with South Yorkshire Police and any persons found to be involved can expect a lifetime ban from Oakwell Stadium.
"The club would also press for the full use of the law against anyone identified in the events."