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Roma fans arrested on suspicion of attempted murder

Two men from Rome have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a Liverpool supporter was left fighting for his life following an altercation between fans ahead of the Champions League semi-final at Anfield.

The man, believed to be from Ireland and with his brother, 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.

Violence broke out near to the Albert pub before the game Credit: PA Images

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.

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.

– Detective Inspector Paul Speight, Merseyside Police

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.

Once again Liverpool fans gathered outside Anfield to welcome their team Credit: PA Images