leave Roma needing new miracle

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Of all the mesmerising nights Liverpool have experienced under Anfield’s floodlights in the European competitions, where does this one stand? Up there, surely, with Saint-Étienne in 1977, Olympiakos in 2005, the fightback against Borussia Dortmund in 2016 and all the other famous occasions. Liverpool have added another exhilarating one to an already extensive list and, barring an almost implausible feat of escapology from Roma, can start looking forward to the final in Ukraine on 26 May.

The only possible note of caution is that Roma have already overcome a 4-1 first-leg deficit in the Stadio Olimpico against Barcelona in the quarter-finals. On that basis Jürgen Klopp was entitled to be dismayed by his team’s carelessness when they had a 5-0 lead. Yet perhaps the manager miscalculated by withdrawing Mohamed Salah, who had scored twice and set up two of the others. Roma promptly scored two of their own and, somehow, a hitherto rampant Liverpool side had to endure a nervous climax against reinvigorated opponents.
Ultimately, though, it was another triumphant night for Liverpool – a scintillating performance, for the most part – and Klopp’s team will head to Italy for the return in a position of strength. True, it might not have been the position they anticipated when they led by five goals and were threatening to add even more. Yet it was a smile on Klopp’s face at the final whistle. Liverpool might have been disappointed not to inflict a quick kill but they have inflicted grievous damage and, on this evidence, they should be confident about adding more goals when the sides meet again on Wednesday week.
Roma played well for the opening 20 minutes and found some new momentum in the final quarter of an hour. In between, however, Serie A’s third-placed side looked in need of smelling salts. Liverpool attacked from every angle. The din was extraordinary and Salah had such a hold on the match that it felt almost like a trick of the mind to realise that the fifth goal, when Roberto Firmino headed in James Milner’s corner, did not have the Egyptian’s fingerprints all over it.
At that stage, with 69 minutes gone, it would not have been a surprise if Liverpool had emulated, or even bettered, the seven goals that Manchester United scored past Roma in the 2007 quarter-finals. Instead there was a strange and unexpected end to a wild and eccentric evening. There has never been a semi-final in the Champions League with more goals and, if nothing else, at least Roma kept the tie alive with their late show of resistance. Yet the point remains that Liverpool ought to be enthralled with their night’s work.
In the process Salah Orlando Cepeda Authentic Jersey scored his 42nd and 43rd goals of the season. Sadio Mané added another to his personal collection and Roberto Firmino scored two http://www.officialauthenticlionsstore.com/Nike-Nevin-Lawson-Jersey.html of his own. Together, those three have accumulated 87 goals this season. Mané’s finishing might have been erratic sometimes but he quickly realised he had the beating of Federico Fazio, the former Tottenham Hotspur reserve. Firmino rarely disappoints on the big occasions and for long spells it was difficult not to pity Eusebio Di Francesco’s team. Roma were taking an almighty chasing.
More than anyone, it was another night to savour the little guy with the magic in his feet and enough manners to hold up his palms in front of the away end to apologise for his first-half goals. Salah scored 34 times in 83 appearances for Roma but this performance was another reminder that he operates now at a different level.
His first goal was a peach – a curling, diagonal shot that went in off the underside of the crossbar – but the second was not too shabby either. Firmino slipped the pass through the middle http://www.officialedmontonoilers.com/Adidas-Anton-Slepyshev-Jersey and once Salah reached the ball first there was a sense of inevitability about what would happen next – a touch to steady himself, a quick look up and then an impudent chip over Alisson, the Roma goalkeeper, almost in slow motion.
When Manchester City came here in the quarter-finals Liverpool inflicted the damage with a blitz of three goals before half-time. This time they restricted themselves to Salah’s double but one of the Cincinnati Bengals Jersey more attractive traits of this side is that, when they are in a winning position, they always go looking for more goals. Another team might have prioritised a clean sheet in the second half. Liverpool, on the other hand, sensed a rout, attacking from every angle, with Salah at the hub of everything.



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