Jordan Henderson admitted Liverpool had done it the hard way after sealing their place in the Champions League final despite a 4-2 defeat in the semi-final second leg at Roma on Wednesday.
Holding a 5-2 lead from the first leg, Liverpool were cruising after going 2-1 up in the return in Rome.
But Roma equalised after the interval and scored twice in the final moments of a dramatic tie which set a Champions League semi-final goal record.
Reds captain Henderson conceded Liverpool had made it more difficult than necessary as Jurgen Klopp’s side set up a final showdown with holders Real Madrid on May 26.
The skipper told BT Sport:
“We never do it the easy way unfortunately. We could have done better in this game but we’ve made it through to the final.
“Overall we handled the situation well apart from the last 10 minutes. We need to stop that but I’m delighted we’re in the final.
“We knew it was important to score and get one early on. It was an amazing effort.
“We have another important game on the weekend against Chelsea and then we have Real Madrid in the final. We will go there with confidence.”
— eir Sport (@eirSport) May 2, 2018
Liverpool have reached 46 goals in 14 Champions League matches (including qualifiers), surpassing the previous best set by Barcelona in 16 games in 1999-2000.
James Milner has been one of the unsung heroes of Liverpool’s run and the midfielder conceded his team’s second-leg rollercoaster ride was in keeping with their entertaining style of play.
“We know how to make it interesting, don’t we? That’s what it is all about though — these scenes right here.
“We know we need to do better to see out games. All in all I thought we played quite well but could have controlled it better.
“Nobody said getting to the Champions League final is easy and we’ve beaten some great teams on the way.”
Asked how he would celebrate, Milner vowed to stick to Ribena — a popular British soft drink for children — rather than having a glass of wine.
“I might stretch myself out to some Ribena or something, maybe!” he grinned.
For now, though, Milner has a more pressing matter to worry about…
— James Milner (@JamesMilner) May 2, 2018
© Agence France-Presse (with additional edits from Simon O’Keeffe)