LFC NEWS

Jürgen Klopp on Roma first leg, Salah 'genius' and Ox injury

LiverpoolFC.TV - Wed, 25/04/2018 - 01:27

Jürgen Klopp credited his players for a 'brilliant' performance despite two late AS Roma strikes that reduced Liverpool's lead to 5-2 in their Champions League semi-final.

The Reds led the Italian side by five goals midway through the second half of the first leg at Anfield as Mohamed Salah scored two and created two, with Sadio Mane notching the third goal and Roberto Firmino adding a brace of his own.

A fairytale scoreline was damaged in the closing stages, however. Edin Dzeko beat Loris Karius from close range and substitute Diego Perotti converted a penalty.

Aside from the disappointment of a potentially serious injury for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the manager was satisfied with the night’s work – and believes the game showed Liverpool can complete the job at the Stadio Olimpico next Wednesday.

Read a summary of Klopp’s post-match press conference below…

His verdict on the performance and the mood in the dressing room…

To be honest, the biggest blow for the mood in the dressing room is the injury of Oxlade-Chamberlain. Conceding two goals is not what you want, 100 per cent, but it’s not to change anymore and we can deal with that. That’s football. The boys played a brilliant game over a very long period, even the last few minutes when we conceded. Dejan played a world-class game, was outstandingly good, and this ball he misjudged – he was a little bit too early. That’s usually no problem if the full-back is in the right position. Trent, who played an outstanding game – a world-class game – is not in the right moment because Dejan won all the balls before. When he [Dzeko] is in a good position, he can score.

Now we have to work again in Rome. That’s no problem. There would have been work for us to do if we’d won 5-0 because Roma would have tried everything to strike back anyway. That’s not a big difference. And what I learned tonight is that we can win the second game as well, even when it will be different. Roma need to score goals against us. I said it a few times and it should not sound like a warning or whatever, but we are not Barcelona. They are one of the two or three best teams in the world and they won so many things in the last few years. We didn’t. So we will fight with all we have for that result again. It’s much better than I could have expected before the game, but now in the moment of course I feel the two goals we conceded still.

But I’m already in the Stoke game, to be 100 per cent honest. I’m much more interested about the Stoke game in the moment than about the second leg against Roma. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the atmosphere tonight was absolutely outstanding, what you can expect if you are 5-0 in the lead. The people really enjoyed it. So I say to everybody who has a ticket: I expect exactly the same atmosphere on Saturday at 12.30 because we need it. That’s a massive game for us and we need to be ready for that. We’ll try everything to be ready for that.

Whether Salah is currently the best player in the world…

In that shape, outstanding – pretty much not to defend, to be honest. In the first 15 minutes we needed to learn a little bit, to adapt to the formation of the opponent. Then we played how we played. He has a massive impact on that, of course. I like the other boys as well, of course. The first goal is just a genius strike; he scored already a few like this – that makes it even more special. It makes it clear it is no coincidence. The second goal was brilliant play. Bobby between the lines, turns, makes that run and passes the ball. He [Salah] is quite cool in the moment, that’s true. Then he makes the other two goals. If anybody wants to say that it was my mistake that we conceded two goals because I changed the striker, I have no problem with that. I cannot be only in one game. Actually, I thought we didn’t prepare our passes that well anymore. We shot them behind the line and Mo was running for all of them. It would not have helped us, to be honest, if he got any injury. That was the reason for that. That’s it. What a player.

If you think he’s the best in the world, write it or say it. He is in outstandingly good shape, in world-class shape, 100 per cent. That’s good. To be the best in the world you need to do that over a longer period, I think. There are a few others who are not too bad. He is a fantastic player and I’m really happy to have him.

If he expects to see a different Roma in the second leg…

Yes!

The number of one-on-ones Liverpool’s front three enjoyed…

We thought they’d play the other system and when we saw the line-up, we knew about the system, of course. It’s not a system problem or whatever, we did really well. We prepared these passes in behind, we made these runs in behind, they are difficult to defend with our speed. It was not one second easy, it was a lot of work to do to come into these positions and the boys did the work.

Salah’s impact and how different the game would have been if he had still been playing for Roma…

I’m really not interested in that answer, to be honest. It is like it is. If Neymar doesn’t go to PSG, Phil Coutinho is probably still here. That would have made life not much easier, so it’s all if, if, if. For Roma, it is like it is. Yes, we hoped that he would have that impact, to be honest. Yes, he plays a season which is obviously – because everybody is excited about it – not normal. We hope and try to help him so he can continue like that. That’s the job to do. It’s a team game, but you need the players to make the decisions to make the decisive things. Obviously he is very good at making decisive things, so we are really happy we could get him in the summer.

Whether Oxlade-Chamberlain’s season could be over…

It looks like this, unfortunately. We don’t know it exactly but if the medical department is quite concerned without a scan then you can imagine it is difficult. The season is not that long anymore, so it doesn’t look good. I am a very positive person and still hope that he only feels bad and is not that bad, but we will see that. I see in your faces, maybe you are a little bit surprised I am not flying, mood-wise. It’s just we lost a fantastic player tonight and that is not good news, so I am not really in the mood to talk about specific, fantastic things. We have to do a job again in Rome, that’s no problem and we expected that before. We will go there and play as good as possible for us. I know since I am in, Liverpool always has to take the slightly more difficult way. It’s again like this, but in the end – very often – Liverpool still succeeded and that’s what we will try with all we have. [It was] a very positive result tonight. Not as positive as possible, but the performance was very positive. If one of my players doesn’t think that Roma will try to come back, he will not play.

Whether goals will be conceded because of Liverpool’s attack-minded approach…

Not really. We were completely solid in defence. It happens one time they play a long ball into the box, which we had defended before and was not even a chance. That can happen, it is nothing to do with defending and it’s not about criticism. I know what people say, ‘that’s Dejan Lovren – world-class and then one mistake’, yet all the big ones make mistakes. That happens constantly. Mats Hummels made bigger mistakes, to be honest, and he is a world-class centre-half. It’s not about that. We didn’t give any space away; it was not that we were completely open because we are all offensive and then they had one chance after the other. It was not like that, we controlled the game in a very nice football way – good to watch, even for me. Now it is not over, that’s why somebody thought, ‘let’s play one leg here and one leg in Rome’. It is more exciting and that’s what we do now.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Henderson: Let's finish the job in Rome

LiverpoolFC TV - Wed, 25/04/2018 - 01:25
Jordan Henderson has confidence that Liverpool can ‘finish the job’ and reach the Champions League final next week following Tuesday’s thrilling 5-2 win over AS Roma.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Henderson: Let's finish the job in Rome

LiverpoolFC.TV - Wed, 25/04/2018 - 01:25

Jordan Henderson has confidence that Liverpool can ‘finish the job’ and reach the Champions League final next week following Tuesday’s thrilling 5-2 win over AS Roma.

Mohamed Salah’s brilliant brace before the break, followed by a Sadio Mane goal and a Roberto Firmino double after half-time, put the Reds in command of their semi-final first leg at Anfield.

Late strikes from Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti changed the complexion of the tie somewhat ahead of next Wednesday’s second meeting at Stadio Olimpico, though.

However, while acknowledging the difficulties Jürgen Klopp’s team will face in the Italian capital, Henderson feels they are in a strong position to seal a spot in next month’s showpiece in Kiev.

“I think we’ll obviously be disappointed with the two goals because it felt as though we were in full control and we basically gave them two goals, [which] you can’t really do at Champions League [level],” the captain told BT Sport.

“But at the same time we’ve played well, we’ve won the game and we’ll go there with a three-goal advantage. 

“It’ll be difficult because as you’ve seen in the last round, they came back against Barcelona, who are one of the best teams in the world, and they managed to knock them out so it’ll be a really tough challenge for us, but we’ve got to be confident after the performance. We’ve got to go there and put a solid display on and hopefully get us to the final.”

Just 32 minutes of play, straddled over half-time, separated Salah’s stunning opener and Firmino’s headed fifth goal of the evening as Liverpool, once again, produced an exhilarating surge of attacking potency that their opponents were powerless to resist.

And Henderson believes the Reds are more than capable of scoring at least one away goal of their own in Rome.

“I thought some of the runs and some of the balls in behind were brilliant. It’s probably disappointing to not score more to be honest, but overall we’ve got to stay positive,” the midfielder continued.

“It was another huge game, we knew it wouldn’t be easy tonight, we knew it wouldn’t be easy over there, it’s really tough as Barcelona found so we need to be on our best.

“But I fancy us to go there and score as well, with the forward players we’ve got. It’ll be a challenge, but one we’ve got to look forward to and hopefully we can finish the job off.”

Categories: LFC NEWS

Video: Jordan Henderson gives mixed verdict despite Liverpool’s 5-2 win over Roma

ThisIsAnfield.com - Wed, 25/04/2018 - 00:55

Jordan Henderson had mixed feelings after Tuesday’s 5-2 win over Roma, with Liverpool conceding twice after having led by five goals at Anfield.

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The skipper felt his team were incredible going forward in the Champions League semi-final and knows the same will be required again in the second leg next week.

Goals were again shared around the front line as Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino netted twice apiece, with Sadio Mane scoring between each of those braces.

And Henderson lauded the off-the-ball movement shown by the front three.

“I thought some of the runs and some of the balls in behind were brilliant; probably we’re disappointed not to score more to be honest!” he told BT Sport.

“We need to be at our best but I fancy us to go there and score with the forward players we’ve got.”

 Liverpool's Sadio Mane celebrates scoring the third goal with team-mate captain Jordan Henderson during the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and AS Roma at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Later in the match though, the Reds allowed Roma back into the tie by conceding twice late on, a strike from Edin Dzeko and a penalty dispatched by Diego Perotti, much to the annoyance of the Liverpool captain.

“We basically gave them two goals, which you cannot do in the Champions League,” he added.

“But at the same time we’ve played well, won the game, we go there with a three-goal advantage.

“It’ll be a really tough challenge for us but we’ll be confident after the performance, put a solid display on and hopefully get us to the final.”

Henderson will lead the Reds out at the Olimpico next Wednesday knowing they’ll have to be solid at the back and wait for their chances to attack—but the final in Kyiv is most certainly within touching distance.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Watch all the goals and highlights from Liverpool 5-2 Roma

ThisIsAnfield.com - Wed, 25/04/2018 - 00:43

Liverpool surged to a remarkable five-goal lead at Anfield before conceding twice late on to ensure a 5-2 win over Roma in the Champions League.

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* Video above from BT Sport; geographic restrictions may apply.

The Reds headed out of the tunnel to an incredible atmosphere on Merseyside, as dreams of a sixth European Cup grow more likely by the game.

Taking on a Roma side who had defeated Barcelona in the quarter-finals, however, Jurgen Klopp‘s side faced a stern test in their semi-final first leg.

The visitors enjoyed an impressive spell early on, but after a flurry of missed opportunities including two from Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah fired Liverpool ahead with his 42nd of the campaign.

With the Kop roaring them on with every touch, they then went 2-0 up before the break, with the brilliant Roberto Firmino threading Salah through for a sensational second, and his 43rd.

The Egyptian King then tallied a pair of assists after half-time, first for Mane and then for Firmino, who sealed a brace of his own with a header from a James Milner corner on 69 minutes.

Klopp opted to withdraw Salah with his side 5-0 up, but their intensity dropped immediately, and both Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti scored late on to give Roma a lifeline in Italy next week.

Liverpool have now recorded emphatic first-leg results against Porto, Man City and Roma in this season’s Champions League.

In both of their previous knockout ties they’ve produced mature displays in the second leg, and the hope will be Klopp can inspire another at Stadio Olimpico.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Record-breaking duo and a crazy ending – 5 talking points from Liverpool 5-2 Roma

ThisIsAnfield.com - Wed, 25/04/2018 - 00:30

An amazing night at Anfield saw Liverpool take control of their Champions League semi-final by claiming a three-goal first-leg win over AS Roma.


Liverpool 5-2 AS Roma

Anfield, UEFA Champions League semi-final, first leg
April 24, 2018

Goals: Salah 36′ 44′, Mane 56′, Firmino 61′ 69′; Dzeko 81′, Perotti pen 85′.

Salah the destroyer; Bobby the lynchpin

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (right) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game with Roberto Firmino during the UEFA Champions League, Semi Final First Leg match at Anfield, Liverpool.

There are perhaps no new superlatives left to apply to Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, but some old ones work just fine: relentless, brilliant, unstoppable.

Salah was incredible, an outlet and a threat from 20 minutes onward, looking likely to score or create a chance every time he took possession.

His first goal, a top-corner curled effort, was sublime given the stage and the stalemate scoreline—but the composure he showed for his second was outstanding too.

Add a couple of assists, selfless when he could have gone for a hat-trick in either moment, and he was genuinely world class in this European last four clash.

Firmino wasn’t far behind—yet again, everything Liverpool did went through him in the build-up.

His two goals were predatory, close-range, well-finished after great deliveries, but his movement and work rate mean he offers so much more. Two assists for him, too.

And another record apiece: Mo’s brace made him the highest-scoring Red in a single European season…and Bobby quickly matched him.

Going for the jugular

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring the second goal during the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and AS Roma at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

We’ve seen it before, but in a game of such magnitude, it was especially pleasing to see.

Liverpool sensed their moment and went for the kill, splitting Roma apart time and time again, hungry for goal after goal after goal.

The Reds have the players to make the most of such occasions and given the tie is a two-legged affair, it was imperative they made the most of the momentum they gained.

This could easily have been an occasion when the team sat off, protected a goal or two lead and let the size of possibility scare them.

No chance.

Not under Klopp, not with these forwards.

Five goals was the least the Reds’ attacking play—exploiting the dismal approach of Roma’s defence—deserved.

Now they will want to become the first and only side to score in Europe at the Olimpico this season.

Gini makes a point

 Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Sevilla FC and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Starting on the bench in such a big game can be enough to make some players fume, but there’s only one way to rectify the situation: take your chance when it comes.

Fair to say, Gini Wijnaldum did exactly that after being called upon early on due to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain‘s injury.

The Dutchman was integral in the Reds’ improved fortunes from the half-hour mark onward, harrassing and challenging high upfield and surging down the channels to keep Roma pegged back.

More than once he made bursts into the box, linked nicely and created a couple of shooting chances too.

The Dutchman was important against Man City in the last round and will have perhaps been disappointed not to start here, but he’ll be needed for the rest of the season.

Klopp suggested after the game that Oxlade-Chamberlain’s injury may well be a bad one; fingers crossed he can return before the season is out, pending an assessment.

Regardless, Wijnaldum will be featuring for the foreseeable future as the Reds have no more central senior midfielders to call upon. He, and James Milner and Jordan Henderson, must find consistency.

Defensive lapses: it will count for more

 Liverpool's Dejan Lovren during the FA Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool, the 231st Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Five goals up and cruising, but at this level one mistake can count.

Dejan Lovren‘s moment of misjudgement caused a dramatic swing in atmosphere and approach, with Edin Dzeko suddenly firing unexpected belief into his team-mates.

Roma scored twice in the last 10 minutes and, improbably, will leave feeling they’ve given themselves a small, small chance…just like they had against Barcelona in the last round.

There is no margin for error at the highest level of the game.

The Reds should have seen this out, would have seen this out, but on such decisions can matches be won and lost.

Lovren and his team-mates must be perfect at the Olimpico.

Forget disappointment, the final’s in reach

 Liverpool's scoreboard records the 5-2 victory over AS Roma during the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and AS Roma at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It feels worse than it really is: Liverpool have, after all, just won a Champions League semi-final by a 5-2 scoreline.

They’ve put five past one of the last four sides in Europe.

They could have scored eight.

The Stadio Olimpico should hold no fears for the Reds; control and a strong mentality are a must, but as they showed at the Etihad Stadium, they do have both in abundance.

Roma will come out to attack; Roma may even score early on. But the Reds will get chances, the Reds know how to exploit the Giallorossi, and they should finish them off.

A Champions League final is in sight once more, and it is completely and utterly deserved. Finish the job off next week.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool are irresistible

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Wed, 25/04/2018 - 00:30
Adam Bate

Comment and Analysis @ghostgoal

Last Updated: 24/04/18 10:31pm

Liverpool produced an irresistible performance against Roma at AnfieldLiverpool produced an irresistible performance against Roma at Anfield Liverpool produced an irresistible performance against Roma at Anfield

Liverpool overwhelmed Roma before their late wobble as they won 5-2 in a Champions League semi-final thriller at Anfield. Adam Bate assesses a crazy game in front of the Kop. Can anyone stop Jurgen Klopp's team?

"I don't have to tell the fans anything, they already know it," said Jurgen Klopp beforehand. "They have more experience than me." Perhaps. The Liverpool fans are certainly used to the extraordinary on European nights at Anfield. But they have never experienced anything quite like this. Klopp's team showed them something different. Liverpool five, Roma two.

Salah stars against Roma

Mo Salah struck twice against his former club but Liverpool conceded late away goals in a topsy-turvy 5-2 Champions League semi-final first-leg win.

The Italian side, the conquerors of Barcelona, were overwhelmed and undermined by the irresistible force that is Liverpool. The top scorers in the Champions League. The only unbeaten team in this season's Champions League. Real Madrid or Bayern Munich have the pedigree but does any team in Europe have the pace or the poise to keep this team quiet?

Not Roma, it seems. They saw enough of the ball early on - 56 per cent of it in the first 25 minutes - to provide the briefest illusion of containment. They also went on to score two late goals to give their supporters some hope of a second miracle comeback at the Stadio Olimpico. But in between they became just the latest team to be mauled by Liverpool.

Indeed, at times it was like watching a second-rate matador at constant risk of being gored. In possession, Roma were always hurried, always pushed to the limit. And each time Liverpool were able to get hold of the ball themselves, it was an invitation to carve Roma apart.

Salah's delightful dink doubled Liverpool's lead over Roma at AnfieldSalah's delightful dink doubled Liverpool's lead over Roma at Anfield Salah's delightful dink doubled Liverpool's lead over Roma at Anfield

A high defensive line coupled with no pressure on the ball? This was a team determined to throw petrol on the fire that is the Liverpool front three. Initially, the opportunities fell to Sadio Mane. One wide with his left foot. Another over the top with his right. But when the chance came Mohamed Salah's way there was only going to be one result.

Kostas Manolas, the hero of the win over Barcelona, seemed more concerned by the ball striking his hand than the net as he was too slow to close down the Egyptian inside the penalty box. Salah duly curled the ball into the top corner. But that was just the start. He was in behind again before the break, this time chipping Alisson with ease.

Liverpool had seven shots on target in the first half. The only other team to do that in the Champions League this season are Tottenham and that was at home to APOEL. This was the third time that Liverpool have done it. If Barcelona used to be able to put opponents on the carousel, facing Liverpool must be more like a rollercoaster. Roma were soon sick of it.

Liverpool have made a habit of overwhelming teams early on in EuropeLiverpool have made a habit of overwhelming teams early on in Europe Liverpool have made a habit of overwhelming teams early on in Europe

Had they watched Liverpool at all? Eusebio di Francesco tried to tweak things but nothing seemed to stop the home side. The chances kept coming and the space in behind remained. Salah found it again for Liverpool's third, setting up Mane for his overdue goal, and did the same for the fourth - this time finding Roberto Firmino at the far post.

"Mo will feel early on that they are not his team-mates anymore," Klopp had predicted and so it proved. Roma thought they had vanquished Lionel Messi but here was their former player channelling the great man at his best. Two goals. Two assists. It said plenty that while Salah refused to celebrate the former, he couldn't resist raising his arms for the latter.

When Firmino headed in James Milner's corner to make it five, Roma looked to have abandoned all hope, dispirited by their Anfield experience. But respite came when the only man in the stadium capable of stopping the otherwise irrepressible Salah did the job for them - Klopp withdrawing his star man to wreak havoc another day. It turned the night.

Just some of the highlights from Mohamed Salah's extraordinary season Just some of the highlights from Mohamed Salah's extraordinary season

Dejan Lovren's misjudgement allowed Edin Dzeko to pull one back. A harsh penalty call against Milner permitted Diego Perotti to add a second Roma goal from the spot. It was a reminder that while Virgil van Dijk's arrival has helped to transform Liverpool's defence, this brilliant and beautiful team to watch still has its weaknesses that can be exploited.

It was enough to leave a lingering doubt going into the second leg in the Italian capital but there were similar questions asked of them when taking a three-goal lead to Manchester in the previous round. Liverpool just went and beat their opponents again. Unless Di Francesco comes up with something new in the second leg, Roma are the ones at risk of a repeat.

"It will be a different game to Manchester City and they will ask different questions," Jordan Henderson had said on the eve of the game. Well, Liverpool keep finding the answers and the list of teams left to pose those questions grows ever smaller. Is there anyone out there who can flummox them? On this evidence, Klopp's men remain simply irresistible.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain injury update

LiverpoolFC TV - Wed, 25/04/2018 - 00:15
Jürgen Klopp has provided an update on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s fitness after the Liverpool man was forced off during the first half of Tuesday’s 5-2 win over AS Roma.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain injury update

LiverpoolFC.TV - Wed, 25/04/2018 - 00:15

Jürgen Klopp has provided an update on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s fitness after the Liverpool man was forced off during the first half of Tuesday’s 5-2 win over AS Roma.

Oxlade-Chamberlain had to be replaced early on in the Champions League semi-final first leg after sustaining a knee injury while challenging Aleksandar Kolarov.

Speaking post-match at Anfield, Klopp told BT Sport: “Oxlade, it’s probably a really bad injury. 

“If we can say that already before the scan, that’s never good news so that means for us it’s a massive blow, of course. 

“We have still a few very important games to go and the squad doesn’t get bigger in the moment, so we obviously need to be creative in the next few games.”

Categories: LFC NEWS

Photo gallery: Front three on target as Reds beat Roma

LiverpoolFC TV - Tue, 24/04/2018 - 23:42
Liverpool’s lethal front three did the damage once again as AS Roma were beaten 5-2 in Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg at Anfield.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Photo gallery: Front three on target as Reds beat Roma

LiverpoolFC.TV - Tue, 24/04/2018 - 23:42

Liverpool’s lethal front three did the damage once again as AS Roma were beaten 5-2 in Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg at Anfield.

Mohamed Salah opened the scoring with a wonderful curling effort 10 minutes before half-time and then added a second, his 43rd goal of the season, with a clinical dink on the stroke of the break.

The Egyptian then turned provider for both Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino to make it three and four just after the hour mark, and the Reds’ No.9 nodded in a fifth from James Milner’s corner in the 68th minute.

Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti, with a penalty, pulled two goals back for Roma late on, but Jürgen Klopp’s team will take a healthy lead into next Wednesday’s second leg at Stadio Olimpico.

Take a look at the story of the first leg in photographic form below…

Categories: LFC NEWS

Match report: Reds forge 5-2 lead over Roma in CL semi-final

LiverpoolFC TV - Tue, 24/04/2018 - 23:41
Mohamed Salah's latest attacking masterclass helped to establish a 5-2 lead for Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final with AS Roma.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Match report: Reds forge 5-2 lead over Roma in CL semi-final

LiverpoolFC.TV - Tue, 24/04/2018 - 23:41

Mohamed Salah's latest attacking masterclass helped to establish a 5-2 lead for Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final with AS Roma.

The Egyptian was the chief destroyer against his former club at Anfield, scoring twice in the opening 45 minutes to increase his goal tally for the season to 43 – now just four short of Ian Rush’s club record.

Salah switched to provider mode after the interval, teeing up strikes for fellow forwards Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in the space of five decisive second-half minutes.

Firmino headed home a scarcely believable fifth from James Milner’s corner, but the visitors significantly reduced their arrears through Edin Dzeko and a Diego Perotti penalty late on.

Nevertheless, the Reds finished the evening with a healthy advantage over the Italian side at the halfway point of their battle for a place in the Kiev showpiece next month.

The key points…

  • Salah opened scoring against his former club
  • Egyptian doubled advantage a minute before break
  • No.11 assisted Mane and Firmino to create 4-0 lead
  • Firmino headed in Reds’ fifth, before Dzeko and Perotti responded
  • Second leg to take place in Rome next Wednesday

The team news…

Klopp made five changes to his line-up, restoring Trent Alexander-Arnold, Firmino, Dejan Lovren, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Andy Robertson to his XI.

The first half…

Liverpool’s hopes of a trademark fast start met the obstacle of a well-drilled, defensively diligent Roma team who were set up to stifle the hosts’ passing routines.

Firmino did lift Kopites off their seats in the fifth minute, though.

Slipped through in the right channel by Salah, the No.9 threaded a cross-shot along the face of the goal but found neither a teammate nor the bottom corner.

As the match failed to take off, the Reds’ rhythm was further affected by an injury blow on the quarter-hour.

After stemming a Roma attack along Liverpool’s right hand side with a sliding tackle, Oxlade-Chamberlain immediately signalled an issue and was replaced by Georginio Wijnaldum.

As Klopp’s men readjusted, Aleksandar Kolarov smacked a dangerous swerving effort from the left edge of the area that Loris Karius tipped onto the crossbar.

But the home side soon settled and carved open I Giallorossi with a blistering counter-attack on 28 minutes.

Firmino was the architect, with his touch and pass freeing Mane to sprint away from Federico Fazio and bound towards Alisson Becker – but he lifted his finish too high over the goalkeeper and off target.

The Senegal international skewed wide within a minute and then had an effort correctly disallowed for offside after converting from Robertson’s angled cross.

Pressure was building, though, and it was Salah – of course – who made it tell.

He broke the deadlock in the 36th minute with a strike he should consider patenting. Collecting Firmino’s assist at the right side of the Roma area, the 25-year-old stood up Kostas Manolas and curled the ball around Alisson, off the underside of the bar and in.

Lovren nodded a header against the woodwork moments later but Liverpool were not to be denied a second before the half-time interval.

Again it was from a rapid breakaway, beginning with a Virgil van Dijk clearance via a sublime Salah touch to Firmino, who released his fellow forward through the centre. His finish, clipped diagonally over the oncoming Alisson, was the mark of the man – exquisite, unflinching, sheer excellence.

The second half…

Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco responded by replacing Cengiz Under with Patrik Schick at the outset of the second half, but the Red tide simply kept coming.

And it overwhelmed the Serie A side again with 56 on the clock.

Alexander-Arnold’s sweeping pass over the top was an invitation for Salah to scamper into space and the Egyptian unselfishly squared for Mane to send a low hit creeping inside the left post. Sensing something special, Anfield erupted.

It was a similar story just five minutes on. A flick around the opposition from the Liverpool right-back found the team’s relentless top scorer with room to cause trouble; he danced beyond Juan Jesus and rolled the ball to the far stick, where Firmino tapped in.

A more direct route produced the fifth of the night.

Firmino was in the perfect position to meet Milner’s outswinging corner at the Kop end with a guided header out of Alisson’s reach and into the net – a goal which brought up the Brazilian’s half-century for the club.

Roma pressed for an imprint on the scoresheet and Karius had to react quickly, low to his left, when substitute Schick nodded a decent effort goalwards.

The Italians found a way, however. First, Dzeko expertly chested down a long knock forward from Radja Nainggolan and coolly squeezed a strike between Karius and his near post.

And Milner was then penalised for handball from Nainggolan’s drive, allowing Perotti to clip a spot-kick into the top right corner and ensure there is plenty still to play for at the Stadio Olimpico next Wednesday night.

The stats...

Categories: LFC NEWS

Salah stars but Roma stay in hunt

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Tue, 24/04/2018 - 23:40

Last Updated: 25/04/18 12:05am

Mo Salah struck twice against his former club Mo Salah struck twice against his former club Mo Salah struck twice against his former club

Mo Salah struck twice against his former club as Liverpool took command of their Champions League semi-final against Roma, despite late lapses in a 5-2 first-leg win on another memorable Anfield night.

The PFA's Player of the Year hit a stylish first-half double - taking his goal tally in a stunning season to 43 - before Sadio Mane (56) and Roberto Firmino (61, 69) scored to put a first Champions League final since 2007 firmly in sight.

Liverpool had been imperious in Jurgen Klopp's 150th game in charge but Edin Dzeko pounced with nine minutes remaining and Diego Perotti converted an 85th-minute penalty to shift the mood and give Roma unlikely hope.

Roberto Firmino hugs Mo Salah after scoring Liverpool's fourth goalRoberto Firmino hugs Mo Salah after scoring Liverpool's fourth goal Roberto Firmino hugs Mo Salah after scoring Liverpool's fourth goal Player ratings

Liverpool: Karius (6), Alexander-Arnold (8), Lovren (6), van Dijk (8), Robertson (7), Oxlade-Chamberlain (6), Henderson (8), Milner (8), Salah (9), Firmino (8), Mane (7).

Subs used: Wijnaldum (7), Klavan (N/A), Ings, (6).

Roma: Alisson (6), Fazio (6), Manolas (5), Juan Jesus (5), Florenzi (6), De Rossi (6), Strootman (6), Kolarov (6), Cengiz (5), Nainggolan (6), Dzeko (7).

Subs used: Perotti (7), Schick (7), Gonalons (6).

Man of the match: Mo Salah

The Italians had completed an astonishing comeback to oust Barcelona in the quarter-finals and though they return to the Stadio Olimpico with some reward, an even more remarkable feat will be needed to deny the Premier League side - breathtaking in attack again - a shot at more European glory.

Eusebio Di Francesco had vowed his side would not sit back and Kevin Strootman, teed up by Dzeko, served an early warning, before Salah fired one of his own after cutting inside the visitors' strikingly high defensive line.

Firmino dragged wide from a tight angle, the linesman's call late as he scrambled with a broken flag, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain drilled straight at Alisson, only to leave the field prematurely soon after with an apparent knee injury.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain left Anfield on a stretcher after being hurt in a tackleAlex Oxlade-Chamberlain left Anfield on a stretcher after being hurt in a tackle Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain left Anfield on a stretcher after being hurt in a tackle

Five Liverpool changes saw Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren, Andrew Robertson, AlexOxlade-Chamberlain and Roberto Firmino return having been rested for the 2-2 draw at West Brom on Saturday.

Roma included former Manchester City players Edin Dzeko and Aleksandar Kolorov in their side, and opted for Cengiz Under instead of Patrik Schick.

Roma settled as Liverpool reshuffled - Georgino Wijnaldum called into early action - and an Aleksandar Kolarov strike crashed against the goalframe via an unconvincing Loris Karius hand.

But space in behind stretched invitingly and by the half-hour mark, Liverpool were suddenly in the groove. Firmino twice set up Mane, who ballooned over with left and then right boot, and Salah was denied by Alisson before he finally delivered reward with a glorious effort that curled in off the underside of the crossbar (35).

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Klopp pumped his fists in delight and though Dejan Lovren planted a header against the bar, a raucous Anfield revelled in a second in first-half stoppage-time when Salah latched onto Firmino's through-ball and dinked over the Roma goalkeeper.

Roma were ragged and the interval failed to check Liverpool's momentum as Klopp's men soon struck again. Trent Alexander-Arnold's long ball down the right flank looked harmless but Salah was too sharp, affording Mane a tap-in.

Red scarves swirled overhead as Roma legend Francesco Totti looked on with a grimace and the rampant hosts had a fourth on the hour when Salah delivered again, dropping a shoulder and squaring for Firmino to slot low.

Diego Perotti pulled a second goal back for Roma from the spotDiego Perotti pulled a second goal back for Roma from the spot Diego Perotti pulled a second goal back for Roma from the spot

Firmino rose highest to head home James Milner's corner as Klopp felt satisfied enough to take off Salah but Strootman rowed with a fuming Di Francesco.

Liverpool were swaggering towards the Kiev showpiece but the tie swung late to keep Roma alive. Dzeko slotted home his 21st goal of the season as Lovren dithered and when Milner was punished for handball moments later, Perotti kept cool to temper Anfield celebrations.

Man of the match - Mo Salah

Balance, movement, ruthless finishing and an enduring knack for the big moment - Salah starred again. Only Ian Rush - with 47 goals in 1983/84 - has scored more in a single season for Liverpool, but with two assists as well as two more goals, this was an all-round stellar display.

Opta stats
  • Liverpool are only the second side in Champions League history to score five goals in a semi-final game (also Ajax in 1995, 5-2 v Bayern Munich).
  • Liverpool are the first side in Champions League history to see three players score 8+ goals in a single season in the competition (Salah 10, Firmino 10, Mane 8).
  • Salah has netted 10 goals in the Champions League this season, the most by a Liverpool player in a single season in European competition ever.
  • Salah has scored in each of his last five Champions League starts for Liverpool, something only Steven Gerrard had previously done (Steven Gerrard between October 2007 and February 2008).
What's next?

Liverpool are back in Premier League action at home to Stoke on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Premier League, but focus will remain firmly on Wednesday's deciding leg as their seek to book their place in a first Champions League final for more than 10 years.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Two arrested after Anfield attack

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Tue, 24/04/2018 - 23:00
By Sky Sports News

Last Updated: 25/04/18 12:35am

Merseyside Police have arrested two men on suspicion of attempted murder after a man was seriously injured before Liverpool's Champions League game with Roma at Anfield on Tuesday night.

A 53-year-old man was injured in the incident, which occurred outside the Albert Pub - close to Anfield's famous Kop Stand - where fans were gathering before kick-off of the semi-final first-leg match.

Detective Inspector Paul Speight said: "We believe the victim was in Liverpool with his brother for the Liverpool v Roma semi-final and was assaulted during an altercation between Roma and Liverpool fans near to the Albert pub at about 7.35pm.

"Witnesses report that the victim was hit with a belt and then fell to the ground. Paramedics treated him at the scene and he was taken by ambulance to Walton Neurological Centre, where he is being treated for a head injury. His condition is currently described as critical and his next of kin have been informed.

"The place where this incident occurred is right by the ground and was heaving with fans making their way to the game. I would appeal to anyone who has any information, or mobile phone footage of the incident, to contact us urgently, as information they have could be vital to our investigation."

The two men arrested, aged 25 and 26 from Rome, have been taken to a police station where they will be questioned by detectives.

The Liverpool team bus arrives at Anfield before the gameThe Liverpool team bus arrives at Anfield before the game The Liverpool team bus arrives at Anfield before the game

A Liverpool statement said: "Liverpool Football Club is shocked and appalled after a Liverpool supporter was left in a critical condition having been attacked prior to the Champions League fixture against AS Roma.

"Our thoughts, in the first instance, are with the victim and his family at this very traumatic time. We will be offering them our full support.

"The club has been liaising with the emergency services since the incident occurred and will continue to do so.

"Liverpool FC directs supporters and those in attendance at the game to Merseyside Police's appeal for information."

Trouble before Liverpool's quarter-final clash with Manchester City, which saw City's team bus damaged by missiles, saw extra police on hand ahead of the match on Tuesday.

Supporters flooded the streets around the ground and welcomed Liverpool's bus with a now familiar cloud of red smoke.

But Roma's bus was not sent down the same route as the home side, coming down the traditional route for Premier League matches and away from where the majority of supporters had congregated.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Listen live: Free commentary on LFC v Roma from Anfield

LiverpoolFC TV - Tue, 24/04/2018 - 21:30
If you cannot watch Liverpool's Champions League clash with AS Roma, listen to our live commentary from Anfield instead.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Listen live: Free commentary on LFC v Roma from Anfield

LiverpoolFC.TV - Tue, 24/04/2018 - 21:30
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Categories: LFC NEWS

Report: Defeat for Liverpool Ladies at Arsenal

LiverpoolFC TV - Tue, 24/04/2018 - 21:00
It was a disappointing night for Liverpool Ladies as they lost 3-0 away at Arsenal in the Women's Super League on Tuesday night.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Jürgen Klopp on 'strong' line-ups in Roma semi-final

LiverpoolFC TV - Tue, 24/04/2018 - 20:58
Jürgen Klopp expects an exciting Champions League clash between two sides boasting 'experience, youth, skills and threat' at Anfield tonight.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Jürgen Klopp on 'strong' line-ups in Roma semi-final

LiverpoolFC.TV - Tue, 24/04/2018 - 20:58

Jürgen Klopp expects an exciting Champions League clash between two sides boasting 'experience, youth, skills and threat' at Anfield tonight.

Liverpool host AS Roma in the first leg of their semi-final encounter – with a place in May’s showpiece in Kiev on offer over the next eight days.

Klopp has made five changes to his starting XI, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren and Andy Robertson returning to the defence, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Roberto Firmino brought back in further forward.

“We cannot get a result without a good game,” said the manager.

“It’s a strong [Roma] side. They are playing the same system they played against Barcelona – so [that’s a] big honour!

“It will be exciting. It’s a really open game with two strong sides. Go through their line-up and it’s a mixture of experience, youth, skills, threat and everything. Go through our line-up and it’s pretty much the same. That’s how a semi-final should be.”

Categories: LFC NEWS

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