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Reaction To A Shambolic Roma Just About Keeping The Tie Alive After 5-2 Defeat

While excitement of Liverpool reaching their first Champions League semi-final since 2008 was understandable, it was tempered by the challenge that Roma, who sensationally knocked out Barcelona, were sure to bring.

The Italian side did offer a decent account of themselves in the first 25 minutes of tonight’s first leg at Anfield, but a remarkable brace from Mohamed Salah to make it 43 goals this season for the imperious Egyptian.

Liverpool’s pace upfront, coupled with the Roma defence’s high-line, saw their forward line get behind Roma’s back-line time and time again. This contrast intensified in the second half, as the PFA ‘Player of the Year’ provided two assists for his forward partners Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.

Firmino’s second goal in the 69th minute looked to have condemned Roma’s chances of qualifying for the final in Kiev.

Jurgen Klopp was understandably keen to rest his talisman Salah ahead of next week’s away leg in Rome, as the Egyptian magician left the pitch to a standing ovation.

His departure seemed to give the hapless Romans a second wind however, as Edin Dzeko, who looked for all the world to be surplus to requirements, got on the scoresheet with ten minutes to go. Still armed with a four goal cushion, there was no need for Liverpool to panic.

Soon after, a penalty was awarded against James Milner for handball, which was duly slotted home by Diego Perotti to make it 5-2 with a crucial second away goal.

Liverpool, perhaps emptying their tank in what was still one of the great attacking displays seen in the competition, limped to the final whistle, maintaining a three goal lead that could have been much higher.

That Barcelona result will be in the forefront of the minds of many ahead of the return leg, with Roma also clawing back an away defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in the last 16 stage. While the Reds are still the distinct favourites to advance to the final, it’s still, somehow, game on.

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Author: Chris Kelleher

Student whose interests lie in sports ranging from Darts to MMA, with the likes of Golf, Boxing and Soccer in between. Closet wrestling fan and a lover of sports psychology and stiff jabs.