An Irishman is in a critical condition after being assaulted near Anfield before the Champions League semi-final on Tuesday night.
Two men from Rome, aged 25 and 26, have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, Merseyside Police said in a statement.
The Irishman, who is 53 and reported to be in Liverpool with his brother, was seriously assaulted outside the Albert pub at around 7.35pm.
Paramedics arrived at the scene and treated the victim, who suffered a head injury.
He was then taken to Walton Neurological Centre where his condition is described as critical.
Police later entered the ground and arrested two men inside the stadium during the game.
Officers investigating are particularly keen to speak to anyone who witnessed the incident.
Forensic examinations have been carried out at the scene and CCTV footage from the area is being reviewed.
(A view of the Albert Pub on Walton Breck Road)
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.
“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 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.”
The two men arrested have been taken to a police station where they will be questioned by detectives.
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.
“Liverpool FC directs supporters and those in attendance at the game to Merseyside Police’s appeal for information.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Merseyside Police social media desk via twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police CC.
Article courtesy of Amy Molloy. Independent.ie