Arsenal's quarter-final progression in the Champions League was marred by accounts of a pre-match stabbing that occurred when a supporters' coach was attacked by Roma ultras.
One eyewitness today offered his disturbing version of events and told how the bus driver ran off as soon as he saw trouble, before declaring that Rome is an unfit destination to host such an event as the Champions League final in May.
Mark Mills was travelling on the bus that was attacked by the ultras. "It was a full sized coach [that we were travelling on] and we arrived at the meeting place early,” he told Sky Sports.
"Police and stewards spoke to the driver and about half a mile away from the ground, a car pulled up in front of us. We were eventually attacked from both sides.
"A flare was thrown inside the bus, windows were smashed, people came in with bottles, a thunder flash went off, there were knives... it was only the people at front who could try to keep them off.
"It happened in such a short space of time. It felt like an age but was perhaps just three to five minutes. There were no police for a while but the riot police eventually arrived.
"The driver ran off and when it was finished he ran back and cried his eyes out saying his bus had been smashed to pieces. It was one of the people at the front [of the bus] trying to keep the [hooligans] away that got stabbed in the leg.”
Regarding whether Italy's capital city would be a fitting venue for the Champions League final in just two months time, Mills replied with a swift "no".
He continued, "They do not deserve to host the final because they cannot control these people. There is nothing but trouble."
A spokesperson for Arsenal said, "A male Arsenal fan was believed to have been stabbed outside the stadium.
"Roma fans threw stones at a bus, smashing windows, and an individual allegedly entered the bus and stabbed a fan."
This is the third instalment of violence against English fans in the space of less than three years.
A group of 16 Manchester United fans were stabbed near the Stadio Olimpico in 2007.
Alan Dawson, Goal.com