Dejan Lovren and his Lyon team-mates were subjected to violent attacks on their team bus from Marseille supporters, resulting in a serious injury to manager Fabio Grosso.
The former Reds defender was entering The Stade Velodrome with the French side while home fans threw missiles during terrifying scenes that led to the Ligue 1 meeting being postponed.
Rocks were said to be among the objects launched at the coach on the way to the stadium, with the BBC reporting that a “crisis meeting” was called in which it was decided that the game could no longer take place.
Lovren took to Twitter after the events to condemn the actions of the Marseille supporters and call for ‘changes’ to prevent even more severe repercussions being suffered in the future.
“What happened tonight to our coach and to us on the bus was beyond measure,” wrote the 34-year-old.
What happened tonight to our coach and to us on the bus was beyond measure. I respect over the whole world true fans, but these were not true today. These people came with clear intentions to do some serious injuries. I they did that.
— Dejan Lovren (@Dejan06Lovren) October 29, 2023
“I respect over the whole world true fans, but these were not true today. These people came with clear intentions to do some serious injuries. I they did that.
“This has nothing to do with football anymore! If the law is not changed, one day it will be too late. The government must do something. I wish all Lyon supporters to come back home safely.”
Marseille fans attacking the Lyon team bus this evening.
Absolutely crazy… ? pic.twitter.com/sc2lmW5Jhb
— Football Away Days (@FBAwayDays) October 29, 2023
— Julien Laurens (@LaurensJulien) October 29, 2023
French sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera has since revealed that seven arrests have been made in relation to the events, which saw Grosso sustain a serious head injury.
Lyon have also released a statement in which they expressed “regrets” for the troubles that unfolded, adding that issues are encountered “every year” in this fixture due to the nature of the rivalry between the clubs.
Notre équipe a tenu à saluer nos supporters ??? pic.twitter.com/fEOU8Wlfmx
— Olympique Lyonnais (@OL) October 29, 2023
The players elected to greet their travelling fans despite the game being called off, and footage from the club’s Twitter account showed Grosso with a bandage above his eye as a result of the attacks.
Lovren moved to the Ligue 1 side from Zenit back in January, having brought his Anfield career to an end after the title-winning 2019/2020 season.
The Croatian made 185 appearances across his six seasons on Merseyside, with his most famous moment unquestionably coming when he scored a last-gasp header in the dramatic Europa League fightback against Borussia Dortmund in 2016.