Drunken fans battled with police for nearly three hours in Bolton in the aftermath of England's World Cup exit.
The violence broke out at the end of England's match
Greater Manchester Police said between 300 to 500 drunken supporters spilled out of pubs in the Bradshaw Gate area of Bolton and started fighting.
Police were attacked as the tried to quell the disturbance but the large numbers of fans overwhelmed officers.
The tactical aid unit was used but it still took more than two and half hours to restore calm. There were 12 arrests.
All town centre pubs and bars closed voluntarily and reopened 2120 BST.
Ch Supt Dave Lea from Bolton said: "It is regrettable that it was necessary for us to take this action as a result of the behaviour of a small number of individuals who were clearly intent on causing trouble.
"I witnessed for myself the good humour and co-operation of the majority caught up in this and would like to thank these people for their help in restoring order."
No members of the public were injured, said police.