Police said they arrested two fans amid violent scenes before Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final, first leg game against Italian side AS Roma at Anfield which led to one person being taken to hospital with serious injuries.
Television images from the BBC showed groups of youths fighting outside the stadium before the game, with one person seen lying in the street receiving attention while fighting continued. One male was filmed carrying a hammer.
“Merseyside Police can confirm that two men, aged 25 and 26 years from Rome, have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a 53-year-old man was seriously injured before the Champions League semi-final game this evening,” police said in a statement.
“The man was arrested inside the ground after officers carried out a number of proactive inquiries in a bid to identify those involved in the incident.
Police and ambulance in attendance at the Albert pub next to Anfield.
Reports of clashes between Liverpool and Roma fans before kick-off. pic.twitter.com/E1QZHDtzGy
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) April 24, 2018
“Officers were called to the Albert public house at about 7.35pm following reports that a man, believed to be 53 years from Ireland, had been seriously assaulted.
“Paramedics attended at the scene and the victim, who suffered a head injury, was taken to Walton Neurological Centre where his condition is described as critical.”
Earlier, police said they were investigating “a serious assault of a man” outside the Albert pub at about 7.35pm, 10 minutes before the game, which Liverpool won 5-2, kicked off.
The BBC reported that a group of Roma supporters attacked Liverpool fans using belts.
There were also violent scenes before Liverpool’s Champions League quarter-final game against Manchester City at Anfield earlier this month, when the home supporters attacked the visiting team’s bus with bottles, cans and flares which resulted in the Merseyside club being charged by UEFA.