Full Time/ Liverpool 5-2 AS Roma: Champions League Semi-Final first leg!

Liverpool finishes the first half with 2-0 lead against AS Roma in the first leg semi-final against AS Roma at Anfield

Full Time/ Liverpool 5-2 AS Roma: Champions League Semi-Final first leg!

Liverpool finishes the first half with 2-0 lead against AS Roma in the first leg semi-final against AS Roma at Anfield

24 April 2018 Tuesday 21:37
Full Time/ Liverpool 5-2 AS Roma: Champions League Semi-Final first leg!

Let's end here for the night!

“It is hard to be a Liverpool fan,” writes Richard McGahey. “Can we get Mourinho to be our coach for the last 15 minutes of games?”

The final 15 minutes was poor from Liverpool. Salah, assuming there are no injury concerns, was taken off too early, they relaxed too soon and Roma punished them. Surely, though, they’ll score the goal they need in Rome?

Final score: Liverpool 5-2 Roma

90+4 mins: The end of a remarkable game.

90+2 mins: Liverpool’s final substitution sees Firmino slowly go off, and Klavan slowly come on.

90+1 mins: Into the first of four minutes of stoppage time. Fazio heads the corner wide.

90 mins: Nainggolan’s shot is deflected wide, and Roma have a corner.

90 mins: That penalty decision was harsh. The ball was blasted at Milner, he had no chance to get his arm out of the way, and there was no movement towards the ball.

88 mins: Fazio is booked for being angry and emotional. Henderson was also booked a couple of minutes ago, probably for similar reasons.

GOAL! Liverpool 5-2 Roma (Perotti, 85 mins)

Perotti sends Karius the wrong way and sends the ball into the top corner, and this tie is not over!

Roma have a penalty!

85 min: A cross from the left is headed out to Nainggolan, whose first-time shot hits Milner. The referee says it hit his hand, and it was deliberate!

84 mins: Dzeko has another shot, but it’s weak and easily saved. Liverpool, though, are having a bad spell, and another Roma goal would be bad news.

82 mins: Wijnaldum should have scored a sixth! The ball is passed into him by Robertson, and he only needed to sidefoot goalwards – but he uses his right foot rather than his left, and misses it entirely.

82 mins: That is very nicely taken.

GOAL! Liverpool 5-1 Roma (Dzeko, 81 mins)

And there’s the away goal! Nainggolan lifts the ball into the area, Lovren totally misses his header and Dzeko chests down, and slams in.

78 mins: Roma knows that their only chance in this tie is to score at least one away goal and that they might as well lose 6-0 as 5-0, and are thus pushing forward.

77 mins: “I backed Liverpool 5-0 at 45-1. Can they stop now?” wonders Ian Bruce. Good call.

76 mins: Ings is played in down the right, and tries to cut back onto his left foot. He’s been watching too much Mo Salah. A defender gets a foot in the way.

75 mins: Strootman, a victim of that Lovren tackle, is limping but has to play on, with Roma having used all their substitutions. “Luckily for Liverpool supporters like myself West Brom didn’t make it to the semi-finals of the Champions League,” notes Bryan Tisinger.

75 mins: Lovren is booked, and Salah is hooked. Ings is on.

74 mins: Wijnaldum has attempted the same clever 360-degree turn three times. It worked the first time, but not since.

73 mins: Liverpool are going to bring on Danny Ings. Word is that Salah will be the one to go off.

71 mins: Lovren’s clearance hits Schick and rebounds, to his very great relief, just wide of goal. “It’s partly the time of year and the colors of the respective team’s kits, but this is reminiscent of a truly sociopathic 5-0 dissection of Nottingham Forest by the home team, back when both clubs were at the summit,” writes Paul Griffin. “Some great, physically and mentally resilient footballers getting the Patrick Bateman treatment out there.”

70 mins: Roma send in a succession of crosses, without any of them quite falling their way inside the penalty area. Still, vaguely nervous moments for the home defense .

69 mins: That’s two goals and three assists for Salah. A remarkable player, and, on their day, a phenomenal team.

GOAL! Liverpool 5-0 Roma (Firmino, 69 mins)

From the corner, Firmino’s headed bounces into the far corner!

68 mins: Gonalons’ first touch is a massively overhit pass that gifts Liverpool a corner.

66 mins: Roma make a double substitution: Gonalons comes on for De Rossi, and Perotti comes on for Jesus.

66 mins: Milner arrives late to challenge Strootman, who is trying to get out of the way plants his studs on Milner. Whose foul was it? Milner’s says the referee.

64 mins: Liverpool wins a corner. It’s not a great delivery from Salah, but Alisson comes for it and, unchallenged, fumbles. Liverpool can’t take advantage of the mistake, though.

64 mins: The away goals rule means that even a team 4-0 up can’t get too overexcited. Five, though, at five you can probably start celebrating.

63 mins: The ball was played to Alexander-Arnold, just inside Roma’s half, and Kolarov left Salah to close him down. This allowed the full-back to volley it first-time to Salah, now completely unmarked.

GOAL! Liverpool 4-0 Roma (Firmino, 61 mins)

Another Salah assist! Again he’s given insulting amounts of space on the right wing, and he runs into the area, beats Jesus with a drop of the shoulder and fizzes the ball across goal to Firmino, who taps in!

59 mins: Roma have a shot! Kolarov passes to Schick, and though the ball’s behind him he improvises a first-time flick-lob. It floats wide.

58 mins: The space available for Salah and Mané, running down the flanks onto long balls behind the Roma wing-backs, is frankly ridiculous.

57 mins: Now Lovren’s long pass finds Mané, and hie pass inside to Salah is cut out just before the shot comes in.

GOAL! Liverpool 3-0 Roma (Mané, 56 mins)

This time Salah gets an assist, and it’s so simple! Alexander-Arnold plays a long ball down the right flank, Salah is perhaps just onside, and he pulls back to Mané, who has a tap-in.

54 mins: Manolas has the ball inside his own half, and Liverpool’s front three gang up on him, steal the ball away and have a great chance to attack. Firmino passes through to Mané, who is just offside.

53 mins: Fazio passes the ball right into Salah, and is extraordinarily lucky that it rebounds too far ahead of the Egyptian, allowing Alisson to reach it first.

51 mins: Nainggolan gets the ball inside the penalty area, and on the far side Florenzi runs in, completely unmarked. The cross is blocked, and the ball cleared, but a Roma player had the freedom of the penalty area there.

50 mins: Merseyside Police say they are investigating an assault outside the ground before the game.

49 mins: Schick gets his first touch. Sadly it’s a touch on Lovren, rather than the ball. Free kick.

48 mins: From the free kick, Alexander-Arnold shoots into the wall.

47 mins: The ball bounces off Milner’s knee and into Strootman’s outstretched arm, and Liverpool have a decently-positioned free-kick. “What an appeal,” says Glenn Hoddle, impressed by the crowd noise. “That’s the appeal of the season.”

46 mins: Peeeep! Liverpool gets the second half underway and there is one personnel change to report: Roma have taken off Under, and brought on Schick.

BT Sport just showed a clip of Steven Gerrard celebrating Liverpool’s second goal. It’s interesting that he’s watching the game on the TV, when there’s a big window just behind him and a great view of the pitch beyond.

Liverpool had 10 shots on target in the first half. Roma had one – Kolarov’s 30-yard, Karius-humbling blast. It’s a – somewhat unfair – tale of total dominance.

Both goals were taken not just well, but perfectly. Salah’s final touches were unimprovable. “I hope Mané got a drip feed of Salah’s cool during half time,” writes Harry Palmer.

I’m assuming that Roma will be strongly reminded of their responsibilities at the break, and that Liverpool won’t enjoy as much freedom at the start of the second half as they enjoyed for the last 20 minutes or so of the first. As such, it’s just as well they grabbed a second goal just before Eusebio Di Francesco got his hands on his team at half-time.

The defending for Liverpool’s second goal was hopeless. The build-up and the finish were excellent, but Roma didn’t exactly make it hard for them.

Half time: Liverpool 2-0 Roma

45+3 mins: The fans are on their feet, as Liverpool take a two-goal lead into the break.

45+1 mins: There will be at least two minutes of stoppage time, though given that the first of them has been entirely taken up by celebrations, there may be a third.

GOAL! Liverpool 2-0 Roma (Salah, 45 mins)

He’s done it again! This time Salah is played in by Firmino and dinks it gently over Alisson, the ball dribbling over the line and in!

43 mins: Another Liverpool corner, another free header for Lovren. This time he’s well beyond the far post, and Alisson catches his effort.

42 mins: The last 20 minutes have been extraordinary. Roma, having started the game so well, have been desperate. Their high line has flopped backward, and now Liverpool can play in front of them at their leisure.

41 mins: Now a long ball finds Wijnaldum in the penalty area, and his low, hard shot is pushed away by Alisson.

40 mins: Wijnaldum’s pass puts Mané one on one against Florenzi, with just Alisson behind them. Florenzi wins.

39 mins: Alexander-Arnold catches Strootman with an ill-judged tackle, and is booked.

38 mins: Lovren hits the bar! He is absolutely, totally unmarked, perhaps eight yards from goal, when the ball drops onto his head, and he has got to score that. Liverpool have scored one, but missed two absolute sitters.

38 mins: Liverpool are back on the attack. They’ve got a corner now.

36 mins: Liverpool really needed to turn that extended period of dominance into a goal, and what a way to do it! The ball is won smartly in midfield and played to Salah, on the right-hand corner of the penalty area, and he shifts it onto his left foot and curls beautifully into the top, far corner of goal!

GOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Roma (Salah, 36 mins)

He’s scored another beauty!

35 mins: Liverpool continue to run at a chance a minute. Firmino’s 20-yarder is saved by Alisson, then Milner’s drive is blocked.

34 mins: Now Mané does put the ball in the net – but it’s offside! Milner passes to Robertson, whose low, hard centre is turned in, but Mané was clearly offside.

32 mins: The corner is a bit overhit, but Van Dijk conjures an overhead kick to sent it back into the mixer. Nothing comes of it, but nice work.

31 mins: The last five minutes have been fabulous for Liverpool. Now Milner is played in, and wins a corner.

30 mins: Now Salah’s pass towards Firmino bounces off a defender back to him, and his first-time, left-footed shot is palmed away by Alisson!

29 mins: Another chance falls to Mane! And this one flies even higher! The ball is played over Roma’s defence to Firmino on the right, and he twists and pulls back to Mane, who approaches the ball at a bad angle, and then thumps it 15 yards over the bar!

28 mins: What a chance for Liverpool and Mane can’t take it! He beats Fazio with a lovely first touch, just inside Roma’s half, and he’s away. Off he goes, into the penalty area, with Alisson rooted to the spot. And once he gets there, he thumps his shot high!

26 mins: The night’s first yellow card is shown to Jesus, whose tackle on Mane is late and ankle-high.

25 mins: A fine cross from Alexander-Arnold lands just out of Mane’s reach.

22 mins: Roma have certainly been the better side in the first quarter of the game. Liverpool might have been distracted by Oxlade-Chamberlain’s injury, but they need to refocus, fast.

21 mins: The ball is played into the Liverpool penalty area. Under gets there first, and Lovren arrives late, with an ill-judged swipe. Under stays on his feet, which is just as well – that was a penalty waiting to happen.

20 mins: Oxlade-Chamberlain has been loaded onto a stretcher and is being carried away for further treatment.

19 mins: Karius got a hand to it, in fact, so that’ll go down as a save – but a really dodgy one. Had that been two inches lower, it would have gone down as the most howling of howlers.

18 mins: Roma hit the bar! The corner is headed clear by Van Dijk and runs to Kolarov, whose 25-yard drive goes straight through Karius’s hands and crashes against the woodwork!

18 mins: The ball is fizzed into Dzeko, whose first-time flick round the corner to Under is really very lovely, but it’s headed behind by a defender.

16 mins: The physio eventually lifts him to his feet, but turns and gives a “substitute-this-man” gesture to the bench.

15 mins: Oxlade-Chamberlain slides in to tackle Kolarov, but as he goes down his right leg gets caught under his body and he seems in considerable discomfort.

14 mins: Roma work the ball well from right to left, but Kolarov’s cross is caught by Karius.

13 mins: Nobody on either side is getting enough time on the ball to do anything very good with it, so far. In addition, a full day of rain means the ball is zipping off the turf at lightning pace, and people are occasionally falling over.

10 mins: Salah is taken out by Jesus – who fell over into him, but still, an accidental trip is still a trip – inside the centre circle. The referee waves play on.

9 mins: Roma are seeing a lot of the ball. Alexander-Arnold slides in to intercept Fazio’s pass, though, and Liverpool’s break ends when Mane fails to control the ball in the penalty area.

8 mins: Firmino passes inside to Oxlade-Chamberlain, whose low drive from 30 yards goes straight down the middle of the goal. “He strikes it too well,” muses Glenn Hoddle.

7 mins: The linesman’s spare flag is more broken than the first flag. A flag physio is on the scene.

6 mins: Firmino is played through on the right of the penalty area – he looks offside but the linesman is unable to flag due to broken flag – but shoots across goal from an acute angle.

5 mins: One of the linesmen has already had to switch his flags after the original one fell apart.

5 mins: The danger for Liverpool is that Roma’s high defensive line will tempt their players into playing optimistic long passes over the top from too deep, which will either not be long enough and be headed away, or too long and bounce through to Alisson.

3 mins: At the other end, Salah gets down the right, cuts inside and curls the ball into the arms of Alisson.

2 mins: A shot! Roma have it, with Dzeko receiving a ball from the left and laying it back to Strootman, whose 20-yarder was too close to Karius.

2 mins: Roma are playing a high defensive line, which everyone agreed pre-match was a bad plan. Time will tell.

1 min: Peeeeeep! Roma, to a cacophony of whistles, get the game started.

And out they come!

Preambles complete. Let’s watch football!

“A clean sheet must be the mission today,” writes Brandon Dwonch. “Roma got past Shakhtar and Barca on away goals. The key is the full-backs. To provide enough width and offensive prescence to free up Salah and Mané, but be able to limit the service to Dzeko.” I think if you offered Liverpool a goalless draw now, they wouldn’t take it. They want to win by two or more goals, and then pick Roma off on the break at the Stadio Olimpico.

So Roberto Firmino, Andrew Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, all rested for the draw against West Bromwich Albion, are back.

The teams!

Today’s starting line-ups have been announced:

Liverpool: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Milner, Salah, Firmino, Mané. Subs: Mignolet, Clyne, Wijnaldum, Klavan, Moreno, Ings, Solanke.

Roma: Alisson, Fazio, Manolas, Juan Jesus, Florenzi, De Rossi, Strootman, Kolarov, Under, Nainggolan, Dzeko. Subs: Skorupski, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Perotti, Schick, Gonalons, Bruno Peres, El Shaarawy.

Referee: Felix Brych.

Azania Post

Updated: 25.04.2018 12:40
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