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Roma fan not guilty of 2nd charge; 3-year sentence for Liverpool attack

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The man accused of attacking Liverpool fan Sean Cox prior to the Reds’ UEFA Champions League match with AS Roma at Anfield has been found not guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Filippo Lombardi, 21, will go to jail for three years on a separate plea of violent disorder.

[ MORE: Sargent moves to Werder Bremen first team ]

Lombardi insists he’s not the man who attacked Cox, and that he didn’t notice Cox until he was lying on the ground.

Here’s what the judge told Lombardi at the trial, via the BBC:

“There is no doubt in my mind that your purpose was to cause a violent clash with the Liverpool fans… demonstrated vividly in film footage. The footage shows that you had an active role and your assertion in evidence and in your basis of plea that you were just looking for signs for away supporter sections and were suddenly confronted by Liverpool fans is, in my judgement, nonsense.”

The reports says Cox cannot speak above a whisper and cannot sit up unaided.

Cox and his battle have been supported on all sides, including AS Roma, after the senseless attack.

Klopp knows Liverpool “lucky” to reach final after wild second leg

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admitted to forgetting the exact aggregate score a time or two in Liverpool’s 4-2 loss to Roma in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinal on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Match recap | Reds players react ]

All he knew is that the Reds were up — the aggregate final was 7-6 after Roma struck thrice late — and on pace for a return to the UCL Final.

And he knows that Liverpool was lucky but also deserving of their berth in Ukraine for the May 26 final against Real Madrid.

“We are deserved finalists 100 percent,” Klopp said. “You don’t come without luck. We needed it only one time tonight. Real Madrid needed luck yesterday too. That’s how it is.”

Klopp also dedicated the win to Liverpool supporter Sean Cox, who was left in critical condition after a beating at the hands of traveling Roma support before last week’s first leg.

Roma wore “Forza Sean” shirts in the run-up to the game in a show of solidarity with their semifinal opponents.

 

From Football Italia:

“It’s 100 per cent a final for Sean Cox. We said before the game we thought about it, now we’re here, all our prayers and wishes are with him,” Klopp told Mediaset Premium after the final whistle.

“We were lucky today, we know that. Roma are strong, we had them where we wanted, as they were wild, ran the risks and we went 2-1 up. All good. But then we didn’t do enough on the counter, we didn’t use the space that they gave us and we lost the game after going 1-0 up already.”

Klopp is already answering questions about his questionable record in finals, and those questions are going to come fast and furious with his right-hand tactical man Vejlko Buvac away from the team and being whispered for the Arsenal job and a reunion with old Borussia Dortmund friend Sven Mislintat.

“We should start winning but I know that,” Klopp said, according to the BBC. “Everyone will remind me now from now on that I have lost the last five finals but we will try and go there again.”

Liverpool fans warned, as Roma pledges support

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There was a terrible incident in Liverpool on Tuesday when a Reds supporter was set upon by Roma fans and left in critical condition.

Sean Cox, 53, was attacked outside a pub before Liverpool’s 5-2 UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg win over AS Roma.

[ MORE: LFC 5-2 Roma | Klopp reacts ]

Liverpool has released its plans to keep supporters safe should they be among the 5,000 with tickets in Rome on Wednesday (via LiverpoolFC.com), pledging the “most comprehensive safety and security advice.”

The club has taken the exceptional measure of requesting an extraordinary meeting in the Italian capital, which will take place on Friday April 27. … At the behest of Liverpool, club officials will join AS Roma, UEFA and the relevant Italian police and security services to discuss specific ongoing concerns.

Merseyside Police chief superintendent Dave Charnock backed up Roma’s police demand that Liverpool fans without tickets skip the trip to Italy. According to the BBC, Liverpool was asked to put fans names on their tickets to the game.

“While we understand and appreciate that many Liverpool fans will want to travel to Rome, I would encourage fans who do not have tickets to not travel,” he said.

AS Roma, for its part, posted a photo of Cox with the statement, “His recovery and the safety of all fans attending football matches, is the only thing that matters now.”