6000 Feyenoord fans travelled to Rome for their side’s Europa League last-32 clash with AS Roma and chaos ensued in the Italian capital.
As the Dutch supporters arrived in the historic city on Wednesday a riot broke out with Italian police leading to the arrest of 33 of the travelling supporters although 10 were released almost immediately.
The crazy scenes saw fights break out a day before the game was actually taking place at the famous Spanish Steps in the heart of the capital city and left the area looking like a war zone by the end of it.
Missiles were being thrown and fans clashed with the police causing some serious injuries to both the supporters and the police officers. The usually quiet area of Rome, known for its famous 17th-century Fountain of the Old Boat, is just the latest site of football violence to take place in Rome.
The throwing of smoke bombs and flares is an all too familiar site when European football comes to Rome, especially for English fans. Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and England fans will remember the bloodshed in recent years.
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Shocking images of the scenes show fans being apprehended by police with head wounds and other injuries, but that didn’t stop it from continuing the next day as fans clashed with the Italian police again on Thursday ahead of the game.
The Mayor of Rome, Ignazio Marino, took to Twitter to express anger at the situation and said that Rome has been “devastated and hurt” by the incidents.
He added: “I am seriously angry. What is happening is unacceptable. We are in contact with the authorities and the Dutch Ambassador. It will not end here. I protested and demanded an explanation from those who are responsible for public order in this city.”
Moment of magic
The attention then turned to matter in hand, Roma’s game with Feyenoord. In a match that ended 1-1, with the Dutch side securing a vital away goal, it was former Arsenal forward who provided a moment of magic.
Since arriving in Italy, Gervinho has become a new man, completely different to the one we saw struggle to fit in at Arsenal. He is in form and thriving in Rome and that was displayed when he scored Roma’s only goal of the game.
The African Cup of Nations winner got on the end Vasilis Torosidis’ cross and provided a lovely backheel flick for the finish.
The tie will be decided when Roma travel to the De Kuip for the second leg next week.