Two Celtic fans have been stabbed by Lazio "ultras" outside an Irish bar in Rome.

Travelling supporters had been drinking inside Flann O'Brien's pub on Wednesday night ahead of this evening's Europa League second-leg clash.

But it's thought that a group of masked thugs from the Italian side "ambushed" the supporters who were outside the pub.

BBC journalist Chris McLaughlin, who is in Rome to cover the game, shared footage on social media of police in the area shortly after midnight last night.

He wrote: "Police outside Flann O’Brien pub In Rome where two Celtic fans stabbed.

"Understood injuries not life threatening.

"Investigation underway."

READ MORE: Celtic issue fresh fan safety warning over Lazio Ultra fears in Rome

The Scottish Sun reports that a group of armed Lazio ultras, who had covered their faces with masks and scarves, ambushed the supporters outside the bar shortly after 11.30pm Rome time.

A witness told the paper how one fan was stabbed in the leg, adding: "They came out of nowhere. He was doing nothing wrong.

“They were shouting 'Lazio' and had masks on their faces."

Tensions had been high ahead of the match, following shocking scenes in Glasgow last week when a group of Lazio fans marched down Buchanan Street making fascist salutes.

Celtic fans responded by holding up a large banner of executed Italian dictator Mussolini with the caption 'follow your leader'.

 

Evening Times: Celtic fans at the Flann O'Brien pubCeltic fans at the Flann O'Brien pub

READ MORE: Lazio thugs 'planning revenge' on Celtic fans in Rome after Mussolini banner

Celtic have since released a statement following the attack.

A spokesperson said: "We can confirm that two fans have been injured after being stabbed last night.

"Both are now in hospital and will receive every support from the club and the British consulate in Rome.

"Again we would strongly advise supporters to closely follow all guidance issued by the club."

We told on Tuesday how Hoops chiefs issued a fresh warning to fans travelling to what was being described as a high-risk match.

Italian police put a 37-hour ban on the sale of alcohol surrounding the game and Celtic fans were advised to "stay in large groups",  "keep a low profile" particularly in the evening and "avoid wearing club colours". 

It's thought around 9000 Hoops fans will travel to the Italian city for the match.

Fans have also been advised that anyone using the supporters' shuttle service will be searched by police, with the notice warning "under no circumstances should supporters make their own way to the stadium". 

Evening Times: Lazio ultras make fascist salutes in Glasgow last weekLazio ultras make fascist salutes in Glasgow last week

READ MORE: Celtic fans warned over behaviour, banners and marches in Rome ahead of Europa League clash with Lazio

Once at the stadium, fans will be searched and asked to produce photo ID.

Bags will not be permitted in the stadium and all banners will be checked - with banners containing any political messages not allowed inside.

Celtic fans will be kept in the stadium for up to an hour after the full-time whistle before embarking on a shuttle service back to the city centre.