Napoli fans arrested, flag poles confiscated in violent disorder prior to Liverpool match

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Authorities have confirmed the Italian club's fans were arrested amid disorder outside the Reds' stadium

Five Napoli fans were arrested amid disorder outside Anfield ahead of Wednesday's Champions League game against Liverpool, Merseyside Police confirmed.

A statement from the force said three Napoli supporters were arrested for violent disorder and another for affray, with a fifth arrested for breach of the peace at the turnstiles on Anfield Road.

Earlier in the day, Merseyside Police said a number of flags attached to flag poles were confiscated from supporters following reports fans had been seen carrying golf clubs.

"No golf clubs have been found," said a statement from the force posted to social media. 

Last year, Liverpool fan Sean Cox was hospitalised after he was stabbed amid disorder outside Anfield ahead of a Champions League tie against Roma.

Simone Mastrelli pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three and a half years after Cox sustained serious head injuries in the attack.

Neither the Reds nor the Blues could secure their place in the last 16 as Jurgen Klopp's side drew 1-1 with their Italian visitors.

Liverpool – whose only previous defeat in all competitions this season came against Napoli in September – wanted a victory to secure top spot in Group E with a match to spare.

Yet it was Napoli, also wanting a win to ensure their progression, who took the lead thanks to Dries Mertens' composed 21st-minute finish.

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Roberto Firmino missed two big chances to equalise, though it was Dejan Lovren who proved the unlikely hero for the Premier League leaders with a towering header as the points were shared in Klopp's 100th European match as a coach.

The Reds still need a point against Salzburg in their final match next month to progress to knockouts, but defeat to the Austrians could send the English side crashing out of the competition if Napoli defeat Genk.

Liverpool's next match comes in the Premier League on Saturday, as they welcome Brighton to Anfield.