Wembley security at Champions League final was an improvement - but lessons still to be learnt

Ticketless supporters desperate and determined to force their way into the stadium - dashing past stewards.

If the scenes seemed familiar it's because they were - more unrest at a major European final at Wembley.

Only this time, the Football Association insists, fans were blocked at the barriers before getting into the Champions League final.

The £5m of security upgrades since the 2021 European Championship final apparently proved effective in "deterring the mindless actions of a small minority," the FA told Sky News.

The test of the strengthened infrastructure came days after interviewing the FA's director of tournaments and events, Chris Bryant, who hoped improvement "ensure that we learn from the lessons of the men's Euro final, but also to ensure we maintain our standards to be the highest and best stadium in the world".

At the same time, he bemoaned the derailing of the tailgating law due to parliament being dissolved for the general election.

Criminalising unauthorised entry to football matches had been a key recommendation of the review into the 2021 disorder - when England fans attacked stewards to break into the men's final against Italy.

"It's certainly disappointing - I think tailgating in football is definitely something that needs to be… brought by the government," Mr Bryant told Sky News.

"The impact of tailgating on the average and normal fan is really significant and very disturbing."

What makes protecting the area around Wembley Stadium even harder is the fact it is hemmed by apartment blocks, restaurants and shops that have sprung up over the last 15 years.

With the FA not owning the wider Wembley Park land, creating a wider outer perimeter to lock down the area on matchdays would be challenging.

Anyone can get close to the entrances and main stadium steps - making an attempt to gain entry attractive to those who could not get or afford tickets.

Former Met Police Chief Superintendent Dal Babu told Sky News: "What we need to see is a much more robust policing operation. I think the football authorities need to pay for professional police officers to stop these thugs trying to get into the ground.

"I think there needs to be less reliance on zero hour contract stewards who are not going to put themselves in harm's way and get their heads kicked."

That is particularly the case inside the stadium where stewards are the first line of defence against pitch invaders - who disrupted Saturday's game after just a minute.

Two were quickly removed but another evaded stewards for some time as he ran around the field.

"It's a bit of an embarrassment," Mr Babu said. "With the whole world watching, you would have expected a more professional approach inside the ground."

Organisers will have been relieved to spot the invaders only seemed to be promoting a Russian online influencer rather than trying to cause harm.

And while the start of the second half did produce a spectacular pyro display of flames behind one goal by Dortmund fans it was clearly dangerous with dozens of flares not detected by stewards.

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UEFA has said nothing about fan behaviour since Real Madrid beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 - unlike the statement released praising Atalanta, Bayer Leverkusen and Irish authorities after the Europa League final in Dublin last week.

They'd hope Saturday is only remembered for Madrid winning a record-extending 15th European Cup and 20-year-old Jude Bellingham becoming a Champions League winner on home soil.

But UEFA cannot overlook further scenes of shame at a showpiece match without learning the lessons.

The FA was today already starting to assess how to raise security even more with four years until UEFA returns to stage another men's European Championship final.