Liverpool fan in critical condition in pre-game assault

Two men from Rome, aged 25 and 26, have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder

The man was found injured right next to the Stadium
The man was found injured right next to the Stadium

A 53-year-old man is in critical condition after he was attacked outside Anfield before Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final match against Roma.

Police and paramedics were called to the Albert pub, next to the Kop end of Liverpool’s Anfield stadium, shortly before the first leg match kicked off, where they found the victim, believed to be a man from Ireland, who had suffered a head injury.

Two men, who are aged 25 and 26, and come from Rome, have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

In a statement Liverpool said it was "shocked and appalled" and would be offering the victim "our full support".

Det Insp Paul Speight of Merseyside Police said: "Witnesses report that the victim was hit with a belt and then fell to the ground.

"His condition is currently described as critical and his next of kin have been informed."

“The place where this incident occurred is right by the ground and was heaving with fans making their way to the game. I would appeal to anyone who has any information, or mobile phone footage of the incident to contact us urgently, as information they have could be vital to our investigation.”

About 80 Roma fans are thought to have used a side road to reach an area where Liverpool supporters had gathered.

Seven men, aged between 20 and 43, have been arrested for offences including affray, assault, possession of offensive weapons and criminal damage.

Ch Supt Dave Charnock said fans from both sides had been "involved in isolated pockets of disorder".

He said detectives were also investigating the use of flares outside Anfield stadium prior to the game.

"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 and to establish if offences have been committed".

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