A group of Everton fans were brutally attacked outside a pub in the French city of Lille on Wednesday night ahead of their Europa League encounter.
It is reported that up to 100 Lille hooligans bombarded the small group of Evertonians, who were enjoying a cigarette or two outside 'The Australian Bar' in the city centre. Many fans suffered injuries, with some leaving the incident with nasty head wounds.
Police arrived swiftly and managed to dissolve the trouble through the use of gas.
"The atmosphere was nice all day," a bouncer at the pub told the Liverpool Echo.
"The Everton fans were singing, showing us their flags and having fun. All very respectful. In the evening they watched the Liverpool game and towards the end of that match it happened. It was bad.
"The Lille hooligans just appeared from the Place Louise de Bettignies across the road, from a side street, and just ran at the pub. There were some Everton fans outside smoking and they got caught cold.
"The hooligans picked up chairs we had stacked up outside and attacked them while others used them to smash windows and try to get inside."
"We had to try and stop the Everton supporters inside from getting out to help because it would have got far worse. I went out to try and drag them in."
"I saw one older English guy being punched by about three Lille hooligans. His face was bleeding badly. I am so sorry for what happened"
Everton supporters involved described the incident as reminiscent of a scene from 'Green Street'.
The Toffees take on Lille tonight in the Europa League off the back of a convincing 3-0 against Aston Villa, and is possible that local police now may seek to impose a no alcohol policy around the stadium.
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