Liverpool into Champions League final despite loss to Roma
London, May 2, 2018 (AltAfrika)-Liverpool will face Real Madrid in the Champions League final after an extremely tense finish against Roma.
It was another open game that produced six goals Roma 4- liverpool 2. Ending 6-7 on aggregate
After a 5-2 first-leg win last week, a 4-2 defeat on the night could not prevent the five-time champions from reaching their first final since 2007.
Any hopes of a Roma comeback were dented by Georginio Wijnaldum (25) and although Edin Dzeko (52) and a double from Radja Nainggolan (86), (90+3) made the scoreline close, the visitors saw out a freakishly high-scoring tie to make their first Champions League final since 2007.
There were no surprises in the Liverpool team as they made just one enforced change from the first leg with Georginio Wijnaldum replacing the injured Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Roma made three changes as Lorenzo Pellegrini, Patrik Schick and Stephen El Shaarawy were handed starts.
Nainggolan gave the ball away on halfway, which allowed Liverpool to break clear through Roberto Firmino. He drove forward before finding Mane, who fired into the far corner.
Roma needed to respond quickly, which they did on 15 minutes. A deep cross was lazily hacked clear by Dejan Lovren and the ball ricocheted off Milner’s head before flying into the net.
The Stadio Olimpico sensed a comeback was back on, but, Liverpool dented those hopes on 25 minutes when Roma failed to clear a corner and Wijnaldum, who was played onside, turned and nodded a crucial goal home. The Italians now needed four to force extra-time.
Stephan El Shaarawy hit a deflected effort that beat Loris Karius but came back off the post while Firmino – a constant threat – had a goal-bound effort blocked away.
Considering the visitors had a comfortable cushion, they still looked nervy at times and Roma made them pay after the break. Trent Alexander-Arnold got beat down the line by El Shaarawy and his effort could only be spilled by Karius, which left Dzeko with a tap-in.
Cengiz Under tested Karius minutes later before Alexander-Arnold survived a strong penalty shout when seemingly blocking El Shaarawy’s effort with his arm. With Liverpool sinking deeper, Dzeko then blazed two chances wide in the space of 90 seconds.
A grandstand finish was set but Roma could not force any more pressure until the last kick when Nainggolan smashed home a penalty after Ragnar Klavan handled inside the area.
The visiting players and supporters celebrated jubilantly at the final whistle with the prospect of a sixth European Cup firmly in their sights.
29 – Mo Salah (10), Roberto Firmino (10) and Sadio Mane (9) are now the highest scoring trio for a club in a single #UCL campaign, overtaking Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema at Real Madrid in 2013-14 (28). Ménage.
Additional report and pictures from Sky sports