A feeling - quite literally - of warmth between opposing fans marked Thursday's UEFA Europa League match between Rostov and Manchester United in Russia.
Manchester United fans who travelled to Russia for Thursday’s UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first-leg encounter against Rostov were grateful for a notable show of respect from the Rostov fans.
As part of an initiative called "Gentlefan", Rostov supporters handed out inscribed blankets to United fans at the entrance to the visitors’ section at the Olimp 2 Stadium.
In another special touch, the blankets were in United’s colours of red.
"Everyone knows the weather is unpredictable in March, and we as good hosts have to take care of our guests. Come and feel our warmth," said a statement by the Rostov fan group that organised the action for the match, which finished in a 1-1 draw.
Rostov-On-Don, in southern Russia, will host matches at next year’s FIFA World Cup. “We are anticipating a historic event next year,” said the Rostov fans.
“Tens of thousands of fans will visit our city. We want to be an example with this action.”