UEFA Champions League | Liverpool 5 – Roma 2

Roma will need another great display at the Olimpico if they are to reach the final, as they suffered a 5-2 defeat at the hands of Liverpool during the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final.

Mohamed Salah being mobbed after a brilliant goal
Mohamed Salah being mobbed after a brilliant goal

Liverpool made it to the semi-final after beating rivals Manchester City with an aggregate score of 5-1. On the other hand, Roma lost 4-1 in their first game against Barcelona at the Camp Nou. However, the Giollorossi hit back in the second leg and secured a 3-0 win over the Spanish side to go through on away goals.

Roma started well and had a good opportunity on the 2nd minute. Edin Dzeko served Kevin Strootman and the Dutch footballer hit a shot from the edge of the penalty area that was neutralised by Loris Karius.

On the other end, Mohamed Salah’s shot from the right flank was neutralised by Alisson.

Jurgen Klopp was forced to make an early substitution on the 16th minute as Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain suffered an injury. The England international was replaced by Georginio Wijnaldum.

Roma were denied by the post on the 19th minute. Aleksandar Kolarov latched on a loose ball and unleashed a shot which Karius misjudged completely. Fortunately for Liverpool, the German managed to divert the ball towards the woodwork.

Liverpool lost an excellent opportunity on the 29th minute. Following a mistake by Federico Fazio, Sadio Mane went through on goal, but the Senegalese player saw his effort going over the bar.

Mane lost another chance a minute later. Roberto Firmino went past Kolarov before squaring the ball towards the twenty-six year old whose first-time strike failed to hit the target.

The home side kept on putting pressure and threatened Roma again on the 31st minute. Wijnaldum played Salah through, but the Egyptian was denied by Alisson.

Liverpool had a goal disallowed on the 34th minute. Mane managed to get on the end of Robertson’s cross; however, the former Southampton man was in an offside position and the assistant referee correctly raised his flag.

Seconds later, Firmino had an effort towards goal which forced another save from Roma’s goalkeeper.

Liverpool’s efforts paid off on the 36th minute. Salah received the ball from Firmino and hit an exquisite strike that nestled into the back of the net.

Roma seemed unable to stop Liverpool and nearly suffered another goal on the 37th minute. Following a corner, Dejan Lovren’s header stamped off the post.

Salah doubled Liverpool’s advantage in the additional time given by the referee prior to half-time. Firmino played a neat ball towards the Egyptian and the latter placed the ball past Alisson.

Liverpool started the second half the way they ended the first and scored again on the 56th minute. Salah went on another great run down the right flank before delivering the ball towards the unmarked Mane who finished home from close range.

Salah kept on showing his skills and created another goal for Liverpool on the 61st minute. The Egyptian went past Jesus and drilled a low cross towards Firmino who tucked the ball inside the net.

Klopp’s side made the score 5-0 on the 69th minute. From a corner, Milner sent a cross that was met by Firmino whose header ended up inside the net.

Roma finally replied on the 73rd minute. Diego Perotti’s cross went into the path of Patrik Schick. The Czech forward directed his header too close to Karius, who got down to make the stop.

The Italian team pulled one back on the 81st minute. Radja Nainggolan sent a long pass towards Dzeko who controlled the ball brilliantly before smashing it inside the net.

Roma scored again on the 85th minute. Nainggolan’s effort was handled by Milner inside the penalty area and the referee ordered a penalty. From the eleven metres mark, Perotti converted.

In the remaining minutes, Liverpool held firm to take a 5-2 win.

Liverpool starting line-up: Loris Karius, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren, Virgil Van Dijk, Andrew Robertson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane

Roma starting line-up: Alisson, Federico Fazio, Kostas Manolas, Juan Jesus, Alessandro Florenzi, Daniele De Rossi, Kevin Strootman, Aleksandar Kolarov, Cengiz Under, Radja Nainggolan, Edin Dzeko

Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)

Assistant Referees: Mark Borsch, Stefan Lupp

Additional Assistant Referees: Bastian Dankert, Marco Fritz

Fourth Official: Markus Hacker