Saturday 15 December 2018

Watch: Violent scenes outside Anfield ahead of Liverpool's Champions League tie with Roma

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Video footage taken outside Anfield last night show a number of violent clashes taking place before Liverpool's Champions League semi-final against Roma.

The footage comes following the news that two men from Rome have been arrested by Merseyside Police on suspicion of attempted murder after an Irish Liverpool supporter was left fighting for his life following an altercation between fans ahead of the game.

The man, aged 53, is being treated for his injuries at Walton Neurological Centre, where his condition is described as critical, Merseyside Police said.

The 25-year-old and 26-year-old were arrested after police launched an operation to track down the man's assailants amid scenes of violent disorder ahead of Liverpool's clash with Roma.

Liverpool Football Club said it was "shocked and appalled" by the incident and urged fans and those who attended the game to help Merseyside Police with their appeal for information.

Detective Inspector Paul Speight, said: "We believe the victim was in Liverpool with his brother for the Liverpool v Roma semi-final and was assaulted during an altercation between Roma and Liverpool fans near to the Albert pub at about 7.35pm.

A view of The Albert pub on Walton Breck Road after the UEFA Champions League, Semi Final First Leg match at Anfield, Liverpool. PictureL Peter Byrne/PA Wire
A view of The Albert pub on Walton Breck Road after the UEFA Champions League, Semi Final First Leg match at Anfield, Liverpool. PictureL Peter Byrne/PA Wire

"Witnesses report that the victim was hit with a belt and then fell to the ground.

"Paramedics treated him at the scene and he was taken by ambulance to Walton Neurological Centre, where he is being treated for a head injury. His condition is currently described as critical and his next of kin have been informed."

The Liverpool fan's alleged assailants were among a total of nine men, aged between 20 and 43, who were arrested for various offences before and after the match.

The offences included affray, assault, possession of offensive weapons, possession of a controlled drug, criminal damage and being drunk and disorderly.

Detectives are also investigating the use of flares outside the ground, the force said.

Merseyside Police Chief Superintendent Dave Charnock, said "a number of those in the crowd that had gathered to greet the Liverpool team coach were in possession of flares and work is ongoing to identify those responsible".

He added: "The vast majority of the 52,500 fans attending the game were well behaved and went to watch a good game of football.

"However, a minority of fans from both Liverpool and Roma were involved in isolated pockets of disorder in the city centre and near to the ground."

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