On Tuesday night at Anfield, Liverpool recorded a 5-2 Champions League semi-final first leg win over Italian side Roma. The game was a fantastic advertisement for the competition, with former Giallorossi star Mohamed Salah at the heart of the action once again, scoring twice and producing two assists.
Roma offered the first threat on goal, as Edin Dzeko missed the target with an effort. Salah then also fired a warning shot at the Roma goal. There were signs of what was yet to come from the home side, as Roberto Firmino dragged a shot wide of Allison’s goal, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain his a shot straight down the throat of the Roma goalkeeper. The England midfielder then sustained what looked like a serious knee injury and was stretchered off the pitch.
Former Manchester City full-back Aleksandar Kolarov tired his luck from long-range and Reds goalkeeper Loris Karius nervously palmed the effort onto his own woodwork. However, the home side came right back at the visitors, as Sadio Mane fired two chances over the bar after good work by Firmino. Allison also produced a good save from a low Salah shot.
The Egyptian did finally find a breakthrough on 35 minutes expertly curling an effort from the edge of the area that flew past Allison via the bar. The Reds could have had a second soon afterwards, as Dejan Lovren’s header from a corner kick clipped the bar. However, the home side did double their lead in first-half stoppage-time. Firmino produced a superb through ball to Salah, who produced a calm dinked finish over the advancing Allison.
Jurgen Klopp’s side made it three early in the second half, as Mane tapped in from a Salah cross with Roma pushing up in an attempt to score an away goal. The home side were soon four up, as once again Salah tormented the visitor’s defence and found Firmino who had the simple task of tapping home.
The Merseysiders added a fifth goal on 68 minutes, as Firmino rose highest to head home James Milner’s corner kick. Liverpool boss Klopp decided that Roma had had enough punishment and then substituted Salah to a standing ovation from the home fans.
Roma made it nervy in the last ten minutes by scoring twice. The Giallorossi’s first goal arrived on 81 minutes, as Edin Dzeko capitalised on poor defending from Dejan Lovren to score his 21st goal of the season in all competitions. The team from the Italian capital then gave themselves a sliver of hope for the second leg, as Diego Perotti scored from the penalty spot after James Milner had handled the ball in the area.
Roma will still believe they have a chance
The two away goals have at least given the Giallorossi some hope of turning the tie around, especially as they needed a similar scoreline to beat Catalan giants Barcelona in the last round and won 3-0. However, Liverpool are the Champions League’s top scorers and the Italian side will struggle to stop the Reds from scoring at the Olimpico. Jurgen Klopp’s side are very much favourites to make it to the final in Kiev.
Have Liverpool sealed their progress to the Champions League final?