Although Jurgen Klopp’s Reds take a three-goal lead to Roma, Liverpool defender Joe Gomez says attack is the best form of defence.
Gomez says Liverpool will aim to score goals against Roma in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final rather than aiming to soak up the pressure.
Although Mohamed Salah’s two goals and two assists against his old club at Anfield helped to build an incredible 5-0 lead, late replies from Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti gave Eusebio Di Francesco’s men hope.
Roma have yet to concede a goal at home in the Champions League this season but Gomez believes going on the attack is the best tactic for Klopp’s side at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday.
‘As we’ve shown this season, our best form of defence is attack,’ Gomez told reporters after Saturday’s goalless Premier League draw at home to Stoke City.
‘We’ll do that again and go out with that mindset. Obviously, we’ll be wary that they have their threats. The two goals they scored will keep us on our toes and defensively aware that they have their threats.
‘I don’t think we can go there and afford to just sit off and try and defend the whole game. We’d just be under pressure and that’s not the type of football we play. I don’t think that will be the aim. We want to go there on the front foot and try and add to the goals.’
Roma produced a stirring quarter-final comeback to knock out Barcelona, winning 3-0 at the Stadio Olimpico thanks to a late Kostas Manolas header, and the same result sent the Italians into the semi-final.
‘That’s going to give them confidence that they’ve had a comeback before,’ Gomez said. ‘They’ve not conceded at home. They’re going to take confidence from that.
‘As a team, that gives us the warning we need in advance to know that we have to be wary of their threats. And they’re going to think they can’t concede so we’ve just got to go on the front foot and try and put in another good display as the team did.’
Successive Premier League draws mean Liverpool are not yet assured of a top-four finish, with fifth-placed Chelsea narrowing the gap to six points by winning 1-0 at Swansea City.
The Reds travel to Stamford Bridge next weekend for a game that could help Klopp’s men secure Champions League football, something the squad are keen to wrap up quickly.
‘As a team, we’re chasing to try and get a top-four finish, and we’re all frustrated as a team,’ Gomez said of recent league results. ‘Obviously our supporters are frustrated as well and you can hear that. All we can do is just give our all.
‘Some days some decisions go your way on the pitch. You never know, we could have had a penalty [for a handball by Stoke’s Erik Pieters] but I feel we just have to focus on the next one now. There’s still a chance for us to take it in our hands and get in the top four.
‘We have massive games coming up – the Champions League is huge and on everyone’s mind but everyone focuses on one game at a time and the manager reiterates that.
‘It’s simple, the next game is the most important one and we’ve just got to focus on that and all we can do as a squad is all try to stick together as a group and try to get through the games with the best results we can.’
Photo: Dave Thompson/Backpagepix
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