Champions League Preview: Roma vs Liverpool

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Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates after scoring.
  • Post published:April 24, 2018

Liverpool take on Roma this evening in the Champions League semi-final first leg at Anfield with both teams looking to continue their fairy-tale run in the competition, writes DEAN WORKMAN.

Both the Reds and the I Giallorossi were not expected to make it to this stage of the Champions League, especially after the draws they received in the quarter-finals.

Liverpool were drawn against English rivals Manchester City and despite beating the Citizens in the league, Pep Guardiola’s men were favourites to progress. They were largely considered one of the favourites for the competition after setting the Premier League alight all season. It was, however, Jurgen Klopp’s men who came out on top after two dominant displays.

Liverpool thumped City 3-0 in the first leg at Anfield before beating Guardiola’s men 2-1 in the second leg at the Etihad Stadium. A resounding 5-1 aggregate victory in the end for the Reds, who now come up against an inspired Roma side.

The Italians provided the biggest shock of the competition so far by knocking out perineal Champions League challengers and footballing powerhouse Barcelona. The Catalan side looked primed to reach the semi-finals after a comfortable 4-1 win at the Camp Nou in the first leg.

What transpired in the second leg will go down in Champions League history. Roma provided the most stunning of comebacks by beating Barcelona 3-0 in Rome and progressed to the semi-finals on away goals after the tie finished with a 4-4 aggregate score. I Giallorossi were magnificent in the second leg against Barca as they rushed and harried them all over the pitch, leaving Leo Messi and Co with no answers.

The first leg taking place this evening at Anfield could prove to be a deciding factor in this tie. Liverpool have been able to blow away teams at home this season by scoring a number of goals in a short space of time, just as they did in the first half blitz against City where they scored three.

Roma will be hoping to show the same determination they showed against Barca, by combining attack with the usual Italian grit in defence. If Klopp’s men manage a similar first leg performance to that against City, they could kill the tie in the first leg, but how can we rule Roma out after that sensational come back against Barcelona?

Both teams would have been happy with the draw, considering Bayern Munich take on Real Madrid in the other semi-final, but now they need to step up if they are going to take that last step into the final.