A slagging match following the volatile Manchester City - Manchester United derby is believed to have resulted in the shooting of a young Dubliner.
Gardai are investigating the motive behind a gun attack on David Latimer (22) in Clondalkin on Tuesday night after the game.
The Manchester United fan was blasted in the heart with a shotgun in a row following the Carling Cup semi-final tie.
Gardai are investigating reports that Mr Latimer had got into a slagging match with a local thug about the outcome of the match, which City won 2-1.
The Clondalkin native was still seriously ill today, with his family and girlfriend maintaining a bedside vigil.
Mr Latimer, from Deansrath Green, was returning home from Boomer's Pub in Clondalkin where he had watched the match with friends and his partner.
Gardai believe the young man got embroiled in a slagging match "with the wrong guy" who shot him in the heart, leaving him seriously ill in intense care.
He was walking home through Woodford Walk with his girlfriend and a pal when the attack occurred at 1am.
Local politicians told the Herald that anti-social behaviour was a problem in the area.
Cllr Robert Dowds said: "I am aware some local people were concerned about noise coming from that area at late hours. On occasion there is an element of anti-social behaviour."
And Cllr Trevor Gilligan added that, while he did not know the specifics of this case, he could believe it was sparked by a row over a soccer match.
"Anything can happen in this world. It may very well have been that's the case," he said.
Mr Latimer was rushed to Tallaght hospital where he is likely to remain for some time.
Gardai in Clondalkin are looking at CCTV footage from the pub in Clondalkin as well as a garda camera that was focused on the area at the time.
No arrests have been made and the weapon used has not been recovered. Despite the expectation that Mr Latimer will survive the shocking attack, his family are extremely worried about his condition.
"One of the shotgun pellets is lodged in the wall muscles of David's heart" a family member said. "Originally the doctors didn't think it was bad but now they're saying it's touch and go.
"We've been with him all day and he's in and out of consciousness. We're devastated by this. He went out to watch a football match with his girlfriend.
"What kind of animal shoots a 22-year-old just because he gets in a slagging match?"
The family member urged anyone who may have information on the attack to come forward and tell gardai.
"They're very upset (David's family) over this. We'd ask anyone who knows the person responsible to pass on whatever they know to the gardai."
Doctors at Tallaght hospital were yesterday painstakingly removing the shotgun pellets.
"The doctors have gotten a lot of the pellets out but they don't want to touch the one trapped in David's heart," he continued.
"This is just a nightmare. David is a real happy-go-lucky young fella. He enjoys a pint, but he's never done anything to deserve something like this."
The scene of the attack was preserved by gardai and a forensic investigation was conducted by officers from the Garda Technical Bureau.
Anyone with information on the attack is asked to contact Clondalkin Garda Station on 01 6667600 or the Garda Confidential helpline on 1800 666 111.