Steven Gerrard labelled Mohamed Salah 'the best player on the planet right now' after the Liverpool forward inspired a 5-2 win against AS Roma.
The Egyptian was the architect of his former club’s downfall in Tuesday night’s Champions League semi-final first leg at Anfield, opening up a two-goal lead before the interval with a trademark curled finish and a calm dink.
Salah – who now has 43 for the season, four short of Ian Rush’s club-record 47 – then set up strikes for Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino as the Reds took control of the tie ahead of next week’s return in Rome.
And Gerrard, who was Liverpool’s talisman in the run to European Cup glory in 2005, was impressed enough to argue that nobody in world football can currently match the No.11.
“He is in the form of his life,” said the Reds icon and U18s manager.
“It’s difficult to compare him to [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi because they have done it for so long and they have been consistent year in, year out. But without a shadow of a doubt he’s the best player on the planet right now.”
Dejan Lovren believes Liverpool produced a statement performance in beating AS Roma 5-2 in the first leg of the teams' Champions League semi-final tie last night.
The Reds will take a commanding aggregate lead into next week's return leg in Rome after Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane all netted in a thrilling Anfield victory.
Eusebio Di Francesco's team retain some hope of reaching the tournament's final thanks to late away goals from Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti.
But, speaking at full-time, Lovren was still largely delighted with a result he feels will send reverberations across the football world.
He told Liverpoolfc.com: "It was fabulous to play a game like that. [It was] a fantastic atmosphere from the beginning and we showed our quality again.
"We created so many chances. It was enjoyable to play in – and to watch for football fans. We showed the world what we can do.
"In the last 10 or 15 minutes we struggled a little bit with controlling the game, it’s hard to explain. But I’m pretty confident we can get a good result there."
Roma must score at least three goals without reply at the Stadio Olimpico next Wednesday to book their place in the tournament's showpiece fixture in Kiev.
The Italians did just that in the last round, bouncing back from a 4-1 defeat to Barcelona at Camp Nou to secure progression on away goals courtesy of a 3-0 home win.
Lovren acknowledged that an intelligent approach will be required from Jürgen Klopp's side in Rome, though he is comforted by the fact that the hosts will need to come forward.
"They are a team who like to play football, they are not scared to play against teams like us," he added.
"Maybe they will approach the next game differently but if they want to score they should attack.
"We will have chances there again. We will go there like it is 0-0. We need to be clever."
The Croatian defender also paid tribute to Mohamed Salah, who scored two incredible goals and laid on another two in one of the great individual Champions League performances.
"It’s just a pleasure to play with him, such a brilliant man on the pitch and off the pitch," Lovren said.
"Hopefully he can stay injury-free and we can make history with him."
Liverpool's unstoppable front three spread the confidence that carried their teammates to a scintillating 5-2 victory over AS Roma in the Champions League.
The Reds established a promising advantage against the Italian club in the first leg of the European semi-final courtesy of another exhibition of world-class attacking football.
Mohamed Salah was at the heart of everything, curling and dinking the opening two goals before setting up Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino – who later headed home from a corner, too – in the second half.
The trio have now notched 88 goals between them this term and while Trent Alexander-Arnold’s career remains in its infancy, the full-back has yet to witness anything to match Firmino, Mane and Salah.
“I’ve never played with a front three like that before. I’m not sure if any of the other lads have,” the No.66 told Liverpoolfc.com at Anfield.
“We all step out onto the pitch confident that at least one of them – if not all of them – are going to score. We have confidence and they have that confidence within themselves.
“If you look at their numbers this season, it’s incredible and a credit to them because they’ve worked hard for it. The confidence flows throughout the whole team.
“It has been like that a few times now, in the Champions League especially. We’re running away with the result quite early; once we get the first one, it’s quite hard to stop the flow of the goals. That’s credit to the whole team.
“Maybe in the last 10 or 15 minutes our concentration let us down a little bit.”
The period the defender references saw Roma strike back and claim a lifeline in the tie.
Edin Dzeko snuck in behind Dejan Lovren to control Radja Nainggolan’s long pass and knock a finish past Loris Karius before Diego Perotti converted a penalty given for a James Milner handball.
“The five goals were good but at the end we’ve come away disappointed. We’ve conceded two and given them a bit of a chance,” said Alexander-Arnold.
“We should have been more ruthless and put the tie to bed with the five goals effectively. But we can’t be too disappointed – we’ve got to bounce back next week. We’re still ahead in the tie and we’ve got to look to get into the final.
“They haven’t conceded at home in the Champions League so obviously it’s going to be tough. But we’ll go there and try to finish the job off and hopefully get to Kiev.”
Liverpool will take a 5-2 aggregate lead to Italy for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final after a thrilling win over AS Roma at Anfield on Tuesday night.
Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino both scored twice, while Sadio Mane was also on the mark for the Reds.
Here is what the media made of another memorable European evening in front of the Kop…
Neil Jones, Goal.com
“'I don’t know what it is but I love it,' read the banner on The Kop. It couldn’t be any more apt. Nobody knows what this is, this incredible, unstoppable train. Mohamed Salah is leading Liverpool’s latest European charge in the most fabulous, thrilling fashion. Whatever this is, Reds fans love it. It’s ironic that the song the Kop serenades its Egyptian king with is to the tune of ‘Sit Down’. Because from the moment he arrived on Merseyside, all Salah has done is get people on their feet. On their feet and applauding. On their feet and applauding. On their feet and believing. There are hot streaks and then there are hot streaks. This shows no sign of slowing down. Salah is threatening to take Liverpool all the way to glory. He’s already got them with a foot-and-a-half in the Champions League final after yet another extraordinary performance on yet another extraordinary Anfield night. Entertainment? You get your money’s worth with Liverpool, that’s for sure.
James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
Jürgen Klopp's side only have one foot rather than two in next month's Champions League final in Kiev after late goals from Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti burst Kopites' bubble of delirium. But this wasn't a night for regrets after Liverpool produced one of the most sensational performances in the club's illustrious European history. How can you criticise a team who delivered such a spellbinding attacking masterclass when the stakes were so high? Klopp's 150th match in charge was marked in style. Here was the fruits of his labour. His juggernaut he has assembled steamrollered the shell-shocked Serie A outfit. There were heroes all over the field. Klopp had warned Salah to expect a kicking against his old former club but they couldn't lay a glove on him. His fairytale season enjoyed its finest hour as he struck a majestic first-half double to take his tally to 43 goals – just four short of Ian Rush's club record. On current form there is no better player on the planet. The dazzling Egyptian winger showed no mercy to old friends as he tormented Roma's backline. The hapless Juan Jesus will be seeing him in his nightmares. Salah laid on goals for Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane in the second half before the outstanding Firmino headed home his second of the night. The most potent attacking trio in Europe now boast 88 goals between this term. Despite the late twist, this is still a magnificent result for Liverpool, who will fancy their chances of doing some more damage in the Eternal City.
Melissa Reddy, Joe.co.uk
Liverpool, a hurricane of movement and attacking mastery, are 90-odd minutes away from flying to Kyiv for the chance at a sixth European Cup.
Roma had no obstructions, no clue and no say in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final that they were losing 5-0 on Merseyside, before they stopped playing dead to score twice late on. Mohamed Salah, a force that manages to mix the explosive and the elegant with a consistency that bankrupts vocabularies of superlatives. Forty three goals. Three have come against Manchester City, the same figure against Tottenham, two against Arsenal, that number here against his former club Roma and one against Chelsea. On the main stage, when Liverpool most need him, he does the business and spreads his arms out to ask his people if they expected any less. Forty three goals. They do not expect any less. It is about Roberto Firmino, a relentless all-rounder who tackles more than most midfielders and has 27 goals in the campaign - 11 of them in Europe. A player Klopp may as well have concocted in a science lab given his fighting football DNA. It is about Sadio Mane, who tries and grafts and scores and never hides whether things are going his way or not. Whether he is the right forward, on the left, through the middle, or deeper as a playmaker.
Barney Ronay, Guardian
It is no secret this Liverpool team play in surges, moments when the day seems to turn a shade of deep red and when the front three become a whirl of malevolent action. But this was something new. Liverpool and Salah did not just accelerate away from Roma, they eviscerated them, almost but not quite killing a semi-final that remains, somehow, in the balance. Liverpool were relentless in those periods, shaking and ragging Roma in their jaws like a terrier with an old leather slipper. Of five Liverpool goals in the space of 35 minutes Salah scored two and provided three assists for Roberto Firmino, twice, and Sadio Mané. Salah was that rare thing, an athlete at the top of his profession finding new heights, new levels. There may be a more breathtakingly brilliant attacking performance in Europe this season but, given the game and the stage, there has not been one yet. In the event the Salah Spring just keeps rolling, with 22 goals and nine assists in his past 19 starts since Boxing Day. More significant than the numbers is the spectacle, the basic joy in Salah’s free-running interpretation of the inside-forward role, a combination of preternatural quick feet, a computer of a creative brain and the rare ability in modern football simply to make the game up in front of him. Salah was too much for Roma as he has been for so many others this season. Defensive jitters may have let Roma back in towards the end but Liverpool will travel to Rome with confidence. Jürgen Klopp has spoken about the need for everyone to join “the train”, for the whole team to push it along together. The Olympic Stadium will be a moment to yank the throttle hard once again, to keep that machine driving on right to the end.
John Cross, Daily Mirror
There is surely no way back after another deafening, devastating Mo Salah night at Anfield. Salah was the hero, the genius carrying Liverpool towards more European glory after his remarkable virtuoso display put them within touching distance of the final. And yet amid the mayhem and noise, Salah was the only one in the place not celebrating as his team mates mobbed him and the roof came off the place. There can be no greater arena than Anfield on a European night and the all conquering hero is simply unstoppable as his brace takes him to 43 goals in 47 games in all competitions this season. Salah refused to celebrate against his former club while Roma must rue the day they let him go because his £35m move to Liverpool last summer now looks the bargain of the century. Roma’s two late goals at least gives the Italians some hope and Liverpool a degree of doubt but it is also impossible to imagine Salah not scoring in the second leg next week. You could sense the expectation inside Anfield, the buzz and the noise as the goals went in because Klopp’s men believe this is their time. But above everything else, they also have the best player in Europe right now with Salah because his goals, pace and individual brilliance destroys opponents. It was an incredible night because, just when you thought it could not get any louder than against Manchester City in the last round, it was another occasion to savour.
This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
James Milner set a new record for Champions League assists in a single season during Liverpool's 5-2 win over AS Roma last night.
The 32-year-old's corner delivery for Roberto Firmino's headed second represented the ninth occasion this term that he has laid on a goal for a colleague in Europe.
That saw him surpass the tournament's previous best assists total of eight, achieved by both Neymar (2016-17) and Wayne Rooney (2013-14) in recent seasons.
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. Click here to view it.
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…
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.
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.”
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.”
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…
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.
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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.”
Liverpool make five changes for this evening’s Champions League semi-final, first-leg clash with AS Roma at Anfield.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren and Andy Robertson return in defence for the encounter with the Italian side.
Meanwhile, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is back in midfield and Roberto Firmino is restored in attack.
Liverpool: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Subs: Mignolet, Clyne, Wijnaldum, Klavan, Moreno, Ings, Solanke.
Liverpool FC's official charity will hold its third annual LFC Foundation Day when the Reds take on Stoke City on Saturday April 28.
The special event will see a variety of activities and fundraising initiatives take place in and around Anfield on the day of the penaultimate Premier League home match of the season.
Vital funds raised will support the Foundation’s programmes and charity partners, which aim to create life changing opportunities for children and young people.
Activities will include free family fitness sessions, football freestyle demonstrations and appearances from the club's official mascot, Mighty Red.
There will also be a range of family games, interactive activities and junior giveaways in both the Fan Zone in Paisley Square and the Fan Zone on Anfield Road.
Fans will also be given the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime experience: the ultimate family day out at Anfield with Reds star Sadio Mane.
The prize will include a private stadium tour, a press room Q&A and a pitchside kickabout with Mane, as well as a home shirt personally signed by the player on the day.
Fans can enter the competition online at charitystars.com/LFCFoundation from 9am BST on April 28, 2018. The raffle will close on June 9, with the draw taking place the following day.
Liverpool FC have confirmed that tonight's UEFA Champions League clash with AS Roma, kicking off at 7:45pm BST, is now sold out.
Supporters not in possession of a ticket are urged not to travel to Anfield.
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Tickets are sold out, so please do not travel if you have not purchased a ticket.
Liverpool Football Club has today announced that it will be delivering a new youth coaching project in China.
The programme, which will initially be provided to a selection of schools in the city of Kunming, has been organised in partnership with the Kunming Municipal Bureau of Education.
Daniel Reece, head coach at the LFC International Academy in Liverpool, has relocated to Kunming to oversee the project, which is a combination of player development and education for local coaches - teaching them how to play and coach ‘The Liverpool Way’.
LFC legend and International Academy ambassador Ian Rush said: “We are extremely excited to be bringing the LFC International Academy to Kunming. The curriculum is based on the LFC Academy philosophy and practices; with an active and educational programme, that will provide excellent opportunities for local players and coaches in China.”
The project’s mission is to develop the participants both on and off the pitch; encouraging them to get active and improve their football skills, while also improving life skills such as communication, teamwork and leadership.
A key element of the programme is to deliver LFC coach education clinics, which will help to improve the standards of local football coaches in Kunming, ensuring that the LFC International Academy leaves a lasting legacy.
Thousands of television sets in Rome will be tuned into broadcasts from Anfield on Tuesday night as AS Roma take on Liverpool in the Champions League – but there’ll be at least one very familiar face among them hoping for a victory for Jürgen Klopp’s side…
Lucas Leiva swapped Merseyside for the Italian city last summer as he bade farewell to the Reds after 10 years of sterling service to join SS Lazio; however, his passion for his former club remains as steadfast as ever.
And though Lucas will be some 1,400 miles away tonight, he knows exactly what kind of atmosphere Roma can expect to encounter in the first leg of the European semi-final.
The Brazilian told Liverpoolfc.com: “It will be a great night, for sure. For the players, a good experience.
“It’s a big game, a semi-final. It maybe won’t be that different from some games that I experienced with Liverpool - the Europa League, that game against Dortmund and then Villarreal.
“I’m looking forward to it and I’ll be supporting Liverpool for sure.”
While Lucas will be glued to his TV screen for the first leg, he’s hoping to be a little closer to the action next week.
He plans to attend the return meeting at the Stadio Olimpico – and to do so as part of the travelling Liverpool supporters.
“I’m still thinking about it, but I’m hoping I can go to the Liverpool end and watch the game - and maybe take some of my friends and my son,” he said.
“We still follow Liverpool a lot, we watch every game and I hope they can get to the final.”
The task of getting to that final in Kiev certainly won’t be an easy one for Liverpool as they prepare to come up against a Roma side who eliminated FC Barcelona at the quarter-final stage with a monumental comeback.
After losing the first-leg meeting at the Nou Camp 4-1, Eusebio Di Francesco’s team upset all the odds to conjure up a dramatic fightback and record a 3-0 victory over the Spanish giants to progress.
“They are full of confidence of course after the win against Barca,” Lucas explained. “Fair play to them because they played really well and I think they deserved it. The boost that gave them is massive.
“But in the city, one side will be supporting the Reds - the Lazio fans - because they don’t want to see their rival going to the final of course, but the other side of Rome is really excited, so it is going to be a big, big semi-final and let’s see what is going to happen.
“I would say Roma is a very aggressive team. They play a Premier League style of play I would say. They press very high and they have some quick players.
“They also have [Edin] Dzeko and he is a big player for them. Liverpool will know him very well.
“We can expect a very good semi-final, but I think Liverpool have all the tools and the power to win because we could see against Manchester City how strong Anfield is.
“Having a good result in the first game could be the key as well for the second game here in Rome.”