Two Italian men charged over assault on Liverpool fan

Mounted police escort a coach carrying the Liverpool team to the Champions League semi-final first leg against Roma at Anfield

Two Italian men were charged on Thursday in connection with an assault which left a 53-year-old Liverpool fan in a critical condition before Tuesday's Champions League clash with AS Roma.

Filippo Lombardi, 20, has been charged with violent disorder and wounding and inflicting grievous bodily harm, Merseyside Police said in a statement.

Daniele Sciusco, 29, was also charged with violent disorder.

The two men were to appear in court on Thursday.

Sean Cox, 53, who had travelled over from Ireland for the match, suffered a serious head injury after being attacked outside Liverpool's Anfield Stadium.

Cox, described as a "cornerstone of his local community" by Irish media, is being treated for his injuries at a neurological centre, where his condition remains critical, Merseyside Police said.

Family members of the father of three, who have flown over from Ireland to maintain a bedside vigil at the hospital, released a statement.

"We want the world to know that Sean is the most amazing and wonderful husband, dad, friend, son, uncle, and brother and he has brought us all nothing but joy.

"He is a truly decent man who adores Liverpool FC and just came over from his home in County Meath, Ireland, to watch his beloved team.

“We are completely devastated by what has happened to our lovely, caring, Sean and all we want is for him to come home to his loving wife and three children."

Over 30,000 euros (£26,000, $36,500) has been raised through a GoFundMe page to cover his medical expenses and costs incurred by his family to help them to stay by his side.

Sporadic trouble broke out in Liverpool city centre before the match as more than 50,000 fans made their way to Anfield, including around 5,000 Roma fans.