Two young Manchester United fans who sat among Cardiff supporters ended being punched and spat at after they failed to keep a lid on their celebrations.
Instead of sitting the away section, a 22-year-old from Ely and his 16-year-old brother, bought tickets in the Canton Stand of the Cardiff City Stadium.
The game marked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first as Man Utd boss – and was also the first time he had returned to Cardiff, following his sacking in 2014.
The Bluebirds ended up being thrashed 5-1.
South Wales Police said three men took exception to the two Red Devils’ supporters in the home end.
Cardiff Magistrates Court heard heard Gareth Walters, from Ely, spat in the face of one of the victims whereas and Royston Davies from Llanrumney punched him. He was also assaulted. And Lee Thomas, from Pentre, also assaulted the pair.
And as the Man Utd supporters were escorted by stewards from the stand to the concourse violence by the defendants continued.
During the incident, which happened on December 22, several Cardiff City fans attempted to defend the two away supporters.
PC Christian Evans, from South Wales Police, said: “The victim and his brother had obtained tickets for the wrong end and unfortunately, despite their best efforts, were unable to contain their emotions when Manchester United were awarded a penalty.
“While it was perhaps foolish to sit in the home end, this young man did not deserve to be assaulted.
“The overwhelming majority of Cardiff City fans are well-behaved and passionate about their team
“In fact some home fans tried to protect the victim and his brother during this incident.
“However, whenever there is evidence of football-related disorder or violence we always pursue those responsible in order that appropriate action is taken.”
The three defendants appeared at Cardiff Magistrates Court on Friday.
Walters, 34, pleaded guilty to spitting in the face of the victim and was sentenced to 8 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 100 hours of unpaid work. He must pay £100 compensation and £225 victim surcharge and costs.
Davies, 47, pleaded guilty to a common assault by way of a punch, and was sentenced 60 hours unpaid work. He must pay £100 compensation and £170 costs and victim surcharge.
Thomas, 34, pleaded guilty to assaulting the victim and was sentenced to the 120 hours unpaid work and must pay £50 compensation, £170 costs and victim surcharge. He received a longer ban, having already received a three year banning order in March for a pitch invasion in February.